Sunday, May 23, 2010

Failing Health Care for Mothers

I've often written how the U.S. spends more on health care than an other nation on earth with poor results. It is especially clear on maternal mortality where we spend more per birth than any other nation yet we rank #41 in the world. For all of the money we spend there are 40 other industrialized countries that have better survival rates. This includes countries like Croatia, Hungary and Macedonia. Our rate is double that of Canada and most of Western Europe!

Deaths from obstetrical causes within one year of giving birth rose nationally from 7.6 per 100,000 births to 13.3 from 1996 to 2006. In California the rate tripled from 5.6 deaths to 16.9. How can so many American women die from childbirth when we spend more money per birth than anyone else on the planet?

Some people within the medical community point the finger at the increase in the number of cesarean sections which now account for 1/3 of all births, an increase from 20% of births in 1997. But there may are other possible causes.

During the recent health care debate it was often heard that America has the best health care system in the world. Try explaining that to all of the women who died from childbirth. Something is wrong in our health care system and it needs to be changed.

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