Hospitals to face penalties for performing too many C-section births

Portuguese hospitals are under fire for performing too many ‘expensive’ Caesarian section births.

Explain reports, the World Health Organisation ideal average for this type of delivery is 15%. But certain maternity units continue to notch up figures “superior to 30%”, and now the health service is retaliating.

Says SIC TV news, it will start penalising hospitals by refusing to cover operation and inpatient costs if the 30% limit is exceeded.

Right now, the overall figure for C-sections performed in national hospitals is “around 25%” of all births – but health units in Guarda, northeast Bragança and Cova da Beira bump up the figures dramatically.

Guarda has the highest percentage of c-section births (41%), while the other two units both run with at 38%.

Reasons given for this recourse to surgery range from “the mother’s advanced age” to other ‘complications’ that may be seen as precluding natural childbirth. But as has been established, c-section births though potentially easier on the delivery team, carry risks for the mother and baby that extend beyond the delivery process.