Turkish Health Ministry launches plan to discourage C-section births
ANKARAThe Health Ministry is set to promote normal delivery and discourage caesarean section births, as Turkey tops the Organization for the Security and Co-operation in Europe (OECD) list of countries preferring C-section births, daily Habertürk reported on May 17.
According to the ministry’s plan, if gynecology assistants do not assist 80 normal and 40 difficult deliveries per year, they will be unable to get an “expert” certificate. The new regulation, which will go into effect with a decision from the Health Ministry’s Specialty in Medicine Board (TUK), will affect gynecologists in both public and private hospitals.
The plan will increase payments made by the state to hospitals carrying out normal deliveries from 30 to 40 percent. The ministry is currently discussing this issue with the SGK.
Compulsory insurance will also be imposed on all hospitals to cover pecuniary and physical damage that mothers and babies may face during normal deliveries. The rationale behind this move is reportedly to combat doctors’ inclination to prefer C-section surgery due to concerns over possible damage that may be caused during normal deliveries.
Meanwhile, public campaigns to raise awareness among women who are thought to prefer C-section births for aesthetic reasons are also due to be carried out.
Currently over 50 percent of women in Turkey opt to have C-section births, the highest rate in the OECD.
Health Minister Mehmet Müezzinoğlu said the measures were not aimed at “punishing” mothers, but rather intended to be educational and awareness-raising.
“We will undertake the insurance of complications that may emerge during normal deliveries ... There are also some hospitals that do not even assist mothers in normal delivery. At these hospitals we will make normal delivery education compulsory during gynecologists’ assistantship period,” Müezzinoğlu said.
“Overall, this will be a system where teams assisting normal delivery will be encouraged and benefits for those preferring C-section delivery will be narrowed,” he added.