left corner left corner
China Daily Website  

Hospitals add beds for maternity boom

Updated: 2016-04-22 07:08
By Wang Xiaodong (China Daily)

Hospitals add beds for maternity boom

The staff of a high-end maternity hospital in Beijing hold a small party for the mother and her newborn baby.[Provided to China Daily]

High-risk pregnancies expected to grow to 80% of admissions at Beijing's top facilities

Facing a predicted surge in pregnancies this year following the adoption of the universal second-child policy in China, major hospitals in Beijing are setting aside twice as many beds as usual for woman with high-risk pregnancies.

Health authorities in the capital say they will increase the number of obstetrics beds and available staff in public hospitals-and purchase services at private hospitals if necessary-to meet the expected demand, the Beijing Municipal Commission of Health and Family Planning said on Monday.

The number of births in Beijing is expected to exceed 300,000 this year, a rise of about 20 percent from the levels of previous years, Fang Laiying, head of the commission, said in November.

But, a large portion of those eligible to have a second child are over 40 and likely to face increased risks during their pregnancies, including hypertension, which will pose a greater challenge for hospitals, the commission said.

Local health authorities have responded by stipulating that pregnant women in high-risk groups, such as older women and those with health issues, must give birth at Grade A hospitals, the commission said.

At those top-end obstetrics hospitals, high-risk women will account for 80 percent of admissions, up from the previous 40 percent, the commission said.

Health authorities in the capital are also required to offer enhanced monitoring to women in high-risk groups, along with advanced treatment to head off complications during pregnancy, the commission added.

Meanwhile, a citywide network will be developed this year for the treatment and transfer of newborns with serious conditions, the commission said.

About 90 million women in China are newly eligible to have a second baby following the universal second-child policy's implementation on Jan 1. More than half of them are between 40 and 49, according to the National Health and Family Planning Commission.

Chao Wei, a publicity official from Beijing Obstetrics and Gynecology Hospital, said more than 70 percent of the pregnant women it admits are now from high-risk groups.

"The figure will rise this year," he said. "We expect a big increase in pregnant women this year."

Wu Ya, an official specializing in maternal and child healthcare at the Beijing Municipal Commission of Health and Family Planning, said around 5,000 obstetrics beds were available in Beijing hospitals last year.

According to the commission, demand for obstetrics beds was 108 percent of capacity last year at Grade A hospitals in the capital, meaning all regular beds in obstetrics departments were occupied and that extra beds were added to cope with demand.

Wu suggested women with low-risk pregnancies should favor smaller, less busy hospitals and doctors will refer them to larger ones if necessary.

Hospitals add beds for maternity boom

  • Group a building block for Africa

    An unusually heavy downpour hit Durban for two days before the BRICS summit's debut on African soil, but interest for a better platform for emerging markets were still sparked at the summit.