More older pregnant women expected

Updated: 2016-01-25 07:47

By Wang Xiaodong(China Daily)

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2021 peak

According to the Beijing Municipal Commission of Health and Family Planning, the number of women in Beijing eligible to have a second baby has increased by 2.36 million after the policy was adopted in January, and most of the women who want to have a second child will have finished before 2021. So the birth peak will extend for about five years, it said.

The total number of obstetrics beds in Beijing's hospitals last year was nearly 5,000, but utilization rates differ greatly among different types of hospitals, according to Wu Ya, an official for maternal and child healthcare at the Beijing Municipal Commission of Health and Family Planning.

In some large comprehensive hospitals, utilization rates in obstetrics have reached 108 percent, meaning that all regular beds in the obstetrics departments at these hospitals are occupied every day, with extra beds added to cope with demand. But in some smaller hospitals, such as community hospitals, the utilization rate is only 14 percent.

"We are worried that patients will swarm to big hospitals, which are already overcrowded," she said. "We hope more patients will go to smaller hospitals, so the big hospitals will have more room for those at higher risk."

The commission is considering a measure to guide pregnant women to seek treatment at smaller hospitals first. But those who are directed to a smaller hospital should not worry, because the transfer mechanism from small hospitals to bigger ones will be smooth as long as the doctor believes it necessary, she said.

To meet the expected rise in the number of pregnant women at higher risks, hospitals will also improve priority services for that group.

"We will designate hospitals to specially receive and treat newborn babies with critical diseases" to improve chances of survival, she said.

In 2014, the mortality rate of pregnant women was less than 22 per 100,000, compared with 30 per 100,000 in 2010, while the mortality rate of babies declined to less than 9-in-1,000 in 2014. The rates have reached the average level of high-and medium-income countries, according to Yang Wenzhuang, an official with the National Health and Family Planning Commission.

Liu Xiaoli contributed to this story.


More older pregnant women expected

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