Tuesday, September 08, 2009

More on the Income Effect in Nationalized Health Care

I tell anyone who listens that income continues to play some statistically significant role in health care access and health quality in countries with socialized medicine. In fact, the income effect appears to be more important in Canada than in the U.S. Now, this from Great Britain (Hat Tip: KipEsquire):

Thousands of women are having to give birth outside maternity wards because of a lack of midwives and hospital beds.

The lives of mothers and babies are being put at risk as births in locations ranging from lifts to toilets - even a caravan - went up 15 per cent last year to almost 4,000.

Health chiefs admit a lack of maternity beds is partly to blame for the crisis, with hundreds of women in labour being turned away from hospitals because they are full.


Others said women had to give birth on the wards - rather than in their own maternity room - because the delivery suites were full.

Tory health spokesman , who obtained the figures, said Labour had cut maternity beds by 2,340, or 22 per cent, since 1997. At the same time birth rates have been rising sharply - up 20 per cent in some areas.


The key now is to make sure this money is spent by the people controlling the purse strings at a local level.'

Care services minister said: 'The number of maternity beds in the NHS reflects the number of women wanting to give birth in hospital. Giving birth can be unpredictable and it is difficult to plan for the exact time and place of every birth.

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