China Leads World in C-Sections, Doctors’ Motives Questioned

China Leads World in C-Sections, Doctors’ Motives Questioned

By Amy Lien & Gary
Epoch Times Staff
Created: Jul 18, 2011 Last
Jul 18, 2011

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In China 46 percent of babies are delivered by cesarean section, a much higher rate than the 15 percent recommended by the World
Health Organization (WHO). Not only does this place China as the world’s No. 1
country for C-section births, Beijing even surpassed this rank last year with 51 percent of expectant mothers opting
for cesarean deliveries.

Zhao Tianwei, director of Mary’s Hospital for
Women and Infants and an expert in cesarean techniques, told the Beijing News
that it’s difficult for Beijing to lower its cesarean percentage. “Unlike other
regions, Beijing has big hospitals to which pregnant women with complications
are transferred. It is thus hard for itscesarean percentage to decrease.”

Netizens offered a more mercenary reason for the high percentage.

“A vaginal delivery costs US$92,
while a cesarean delivery costs 10 times that. Which do you think a doctor will
recommend?” a person from Taiyuan City, Shanxi province asked in an online

Another person from Shenzhen in Guangdong Province said: “It’s all
because the hospital wants to make profits. When my wife gave birth to our
daughter at our county hospital, 70 percent of the pregnant women hadcesarean
deliveries. Doctors often threaten relatives of the pregnant woman that a
vaginal delivery involves risks. A cesarean delivery costs $400, while a vaginal
delivery $108. That’s a big gap.”

In a 2007 report, the WHO said it
expects this trend to continue as rising incomes in China and improved access to
medical technology impact the Chinese health
care system. It also acknowledged that “profit-motivated institutions may provide implicit or explicit encouragement
for such [C-section] interventions.”

Given the official one-child policy enforced by China’s
ruling Party, Chinese women are delaying pregnancies and often turn to
gender-selecting abortions. The Associated Press said earlier thisyear that
state media reported an estimation of 13 million annual abortions in China; but
such official statistics include only hospital-performed abortions.Read the original Chinese



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