My son was born in December of 2008. We had the plans made long beforehand. And since it was to be an induced labor, we already had the hospital, staff and emergency contingencies all lined up before we even left home that morning. For us, it was no more difficult than planning a vacation.
When I contrast that experience with what I read in the following news story, I thank God that my family and I live in America and not Great Britain.
From Jenny Hope and Nick McDermott of the UK Daily Mail:
|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.
Again, I have to point out that if something like this ever happened in the United States, it would be the lead story on CNN and the front page story in the Washington Post and New York Times for at least a month.
While it is true that not all births occur in hospitals (babies have their own schedules regardless of what the parents planned), the fact that women in labor are being turned away by hospitals even though Great Britain's National Health Service promises timely care for all, is a scandal all unto itself.
|Additionally, overstretched maternity units shut their doors to any more women in labour on 553 occasions last year. |
Babies were born in offices, lifts, toilets and a caravan, according to the Freedom of Information data for 2007 and 2008 from 117 out of 147 trusts which provide maternity services.
One woman gave birth in a lift while being transferred to a labour ward from A&E while another gave birth in a corridor, said East Cheshire NHS Trust.
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 Andrew Lansley, 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.
Shut their doors to women in labor? Women giving birth in toilets?
Is that the utopia of socialized medicine that was promised to the British people?
I dare say it isn't. And I also say that I don't want such government-run travesties over here on this side of the pond.
|'It shows the incredible waste that has taken place that mothers are getting this sort of sub-standard treatment despite Gordon Brown's tripling of spending on the NHS.|
They tripled spending and they still turn women in labor away from hospitals? Where did all that money go? Who accounts for it all?
Yet another reason why we absolutely do not want socialized medicine in the United States.
You can access the complete atory on-line here:
The Babies Born In Hospital Corridors: Bed Shortage Forces 4,000 Mothers To Give Birth In Lifts, Offices And Hospital Toilets
Jenny Hope and Nick McDermott
UK Daily Mail
August 26, 2009
And here is another horror story for good measure:
Father Turned Away From Hospital With Pregnant Wife Delivers Baby On Bathroom Floor - And Saves His Daughter's Life
UK Daily Mail
August 18, 2009