Sunday, November 30, 2008

Poland debates paying for childbirth pain meds

From Anna Wilkowska-Landowska ("Poland Says No to Pain-Free Childbirth"), the Polish health system no longer plans to pay for childbirth drugs. The Ministry of Health Director suggested (in an article in a Polish newspaper) that not only can the state budget not afford to ensure free anesthetization during childbirth to all Polish women, but that there are not enough anesthesiologists in Poland. Says Wilkowska-Landowska:
In Western European countries, as well as in Poland's neighboring countries, childbirth anesthetization is considered a standard service provided to women. The question becomes, then, why do Polish women have to pay for it? This situation divides the Polish women into two groups: those who can afford to pay for anesthetization and those who cannot afford to pay for something to which they are entitled.
The article also mentions that since the Polish government is encouraging families to have more children, the Minister's statements only make the decision to have a baby more difficult for women.

Well, I guess it's another strike against socialized medicine.

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