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Polish women are increasingly choosing caesarean sections. The main reason is the poor valuation of anesthesia during childbirth.

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The World Health Organization recommends that cesareans should average 15 percent. In Poland, it is 50 percent. Why is this happening? Doctors point out that women do not want to suffer during labor, because there is still a problem with epidural anesthesia. According to the Ministry of Health, in 2023, only 17 percent of natural births in Poland were anesthetized.

The Private Obstetrics and Gynecology Clinic in Białystok statistically performs the most caesarean sections in Poland – almost one hundred percent. – Patients come in dissatisfied with previous deliveries and it is difficult to discuss with such a patient and tell her that she has no say in the matter, we will decide for her – admits Dr. Janusz Tomaszewski from the Private Obstetrics and Gynecology Clinic in Białystok.

Patients simply do not want to suffer during labor. In a conversation with the Ministry of Health, we learn that only 17 percent of natural births in Poland are anesthetized. – This is the percentage from 2023. This explains why women choose cesarean sections – emphasizes Jakub Gołąb.

READ ALSO: Mrs. Izabela spoke about her traumatic birth. “I have postpartum depression and post-traumatic stress disorder”

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Second in the list prepared by the industry magazine “Menedżer Zdrowia”, when it comes to the percentage of caesarean sections, is also a private clinic and also from Białystok, and then a long list of public hospitals from all over the country. The indicators are very high everywhere: 60 percent and more. These are alarming data – says Professor Mirosław Wielgoś, national consultant for perinatology.

– A caesarean section is not an ideal solution for the child either. The percentage of respiratory complications after a caesarean section is significantly higher than after a natural birth – points out Professor Mirosław Wielgoś.

Polish Labor Pain MapTVN24

The problem with pricing anesthesia by the National Health Fund

Natural childbirth is also better for the mother. – The patient's return to full health after a physiological childbirth is incredibly short compared to a caesarean section. This problem is especially acute when a caesarean section is performed on a person who is, for example, overweight – emphasizes Professor Michał Krekora, head of the Obstetrics and Gynecology Clinic of the Institute of the Polish Mother's Health Center in Łódź.

The World Health Organization recommends that caesarean sections be performed only as a last resort and that in individual countries their percentage should not exceed 15 percent. In Poland it is 50 percent. This is precisely because the National Health Fund has so far paid too little for anesthesia.

– This pricing of procedures is dramatic, often the procedures are priced so high that it is basically not worth doing them if we count the costs of a given procedure – says Mateusz Nowak, head of the Obstetrics and Gynecology Department of the Tomaszów Health Center.

ALSO CHECK: “My Dogs Do This Too.” A Nightmarish Delivery and the Patient Rights Ombudsman's Intervention

If the procedure is underpriced, the hospital directs the anaesthesiologists to procedures other than natural births. – We report all our patients who qualify for epidural anaesthesia, we report it to the anaesthetic team, we record the refusal – says Maria Madoń, head of the Obstetrics and Gynaecology Department at the Holy Spirit Specialist Hospital in Sandomierz.

The Ministry of Health promises that this will finally change now, because from July the National Health Fund will pay more for anesthesia during childbirth.

Main image source: Shutterstock

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