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Hospitals call for system to classify maternity patients

LARGE local maternity hospitals said just expanding the number of beds is not the solution to the city’s current shortage of maternity space.

The city needs a system to classify pregnant women into different risk levels and encourage them to deliver children at hospitals near their homes when possible, hospital officials said.

Shanghai has enough beds for pregnant women, but people prefer the three major maternity hospitals, which are dealing with too many patients and a difficult workload.

Previously, big maternity hospitals set daily limits for newly registered pregnant women, a policy that resulted in complaints from residents.

In July of last year, Shanghai’s government ordered each of the three major maternity hospitals to add 100 more beds before the year’s end to ease their bed shortage. But hospitals said they started to face an extra workload this month as pregnant women being admitted for the extra beds started to give birth to children.

“We received 30 percent more patients this month, compared with the same time last year,” said Wang Jue from the Obstetrics and Gynecology Hospital of Fudan University.

Pregnant women should be divided into groups for different levels of risk and those with high risks should be transferred to the senior maternity hospitals, hospital officials said. Women would undergo strict monitoring during their pregnancy and transferred to a higher level of hospital if needed, they said.


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