VietNamNet Bridge – Many inner city maternity clinics are failing to attract business from expectant mothers, as concerns over the safety of these facilities see most women choosing to give birth at major hospitals.
Nguyen Ngoc Bich, who is seven months pregnant, said she registered to give birth at the Central Maternity Hospital as she felt more secure there than at one of the capital city's maternity clinics, which often lack highly-qualified doctors.
A nurse takes care of pregnant women at Thanh Nhan Hospital in Ha Noi. Most expectant mothers choose hospitals over maternity clinics due to safety concerns. (Photo: VNS)
"I'm worried that something bad would happen to us during the delivery if we choose a maternity clinic," said Bich. "The hospital is always overcrowded and I may have to share the bed with someone else, but that's not a big deal as long as we're safe.
"This is my first baby and I don't want to take any risks."
Bich is one of many mothers-to-be who opt to give birth at central-level hospitals.
As Ministry of Health regulations state that mothers who experience complications while giving birth at a maternity clinic must be transferred to a major hospital, many women chose the hospitals so that they do not have to be transferred if some problems do occur.
As a result, pregnant women are rare at the four maternity clinics in Ha Noi, located on Hang Bun, Lo Duc, Ngo Quyen and Tho Quan streets.
Nguyen Thi Mong Anh, head of Ba Dinh Maternity Clinic, told Nong thon Ngay nay (Countryside Today) newspaper that restricted medical services at these clinics made pregnant women nervous and worried about their safety.
Anh said about 20 pregnant women were registered for foetal check-ups a day, but only four or five were likely to give birth at the centre.
Most of patients came to the centre for check-ups or abortions, she said.
Other maternity clinics in the city are experiencing a similar situation.
Ly Ngoc Kinh, former director of the ministry's Treatment Management Department, told An ninh Thu do (Capital Security) newspaper that concerns over maternity clinics exacerbated overcrowding at major hospitals.
He urged the Government to focus on developing infrastructure and improving the quality of staff at maternity clinics, so that more women will use their services.
Unofficial figures show that about 90 per cent of births at major hospitals were normal deliveries, which maternity clinics could handle easily.
Nguyen Thi Minh Hien, chairwoman of the Ha Noi Endogenous Association, suggested that doctors at maternity clinics should be allowed to perform more deliveries to attract patients and reduce overcrowding at central hospitals.
VietNamNet/Viet Nam News