Rendering unto Caesar: SA doctors opt for convenience

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Nearly 70% of all births to women covered by a medical aid scheme in [b]South Africa[/b] are by Caesarean section. This is according to recent figures released by the [b]Council for Medical Schemes[/b]. ‘This is way above the international average of 18%,’ said Dr Jacques Snyman, clinical adviser to the [b]Resolution Health Medical Scheme[/b].

He said that SA rates are concerning because Caesarean sections have become elective procedures based on convenience instead of medical necessity.’ [b]University of Cape Town[/b] gynaecology Prof Lynette Denny said: ‘There are definite indications for a Caesarean section, which can be life-saving for both mother and child. But in some hospitals in Cape Town the Caesarean rate is over 90%. In my view that is a dangerous, reckless practice.’

Gynaecologist Peter Koll, said: ‘It’s a complex argument,’ adding that research had not revealed which was the best way to give birth’. Gynaecologist Peter de Jong said the risk of litigation that doctors faced encouraged the choice of a Caesarean section.

Full report in The Times

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