Still think Universal Healthcare is not so bad….

LONDON: A shortage of midwives and hospital beds is forcing thousands of British women to give birth outside maternity

wards, putting the lives of


babies and mothers at risk, a newspaper reported on Wednesday.

The Daily Mail said births outside maternity wards — in locations ranging from lifts to hospital toilets — went up 15% last year to almost 4,000. It said hundreds of women in labour are being turned away from hospitals because they are full.

The paper quoted official information obtained by an opposition MP as showing women gave birth in ambulances, A&E departments, unspecified areas including corridors, postnatal and antenatal wards and hospital reception areas.

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. Opposition Tory health

spokesman Andrew Lansley, who obtained the figures, said the Labour government had cut maternity beds by 2,340, or 22%, since coming to power in 1997.


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