The number of Cesarean sections have been increasing and, although the rate is rising in both public and private hospitals, the percentage of surgical deliveries is higher in private ones. At the National Health Service (SNS) surgical births correspond to 29.79% of the total, already in the rate is 68.5%. In 2019, the highest rate of cesarean sections was achieved since 2010, with 36% of deliveries. The Directorate-General for Health (DGS) explains that this type of births is “influenced by multiple factors”.
The director of the Gynecology / Obstetrics Service of Hospital S. João, Maria Moucho, explains to “Jornal de Notícias” that “with a shift in population from the private sector”, the public receives pregnant women “at greater risk”, ie , who present pathologies. The unit managed by Maria Moucho carried out, in 2019, 29.32% of deliveries by cesarean section, a percentage that increased when it came to risk pregnancies: 36% in pregnant women with morbid obesity and 37% in women over 35 years.
According to data provided by the National Statistics Institute and Pordata, 86,369 deliveries took place in 2019, of which 31,094 were surgical. Private hospitals, which performed 15% of deliveries and 29% of cesarean sections, had a rate of 68.5% of non-vaginal deliveries. At the regional level, the North was the region with more cesarean sections (39%), the Center a that had less (28%).
The former president of the Commission for the reduction of Cesarean sections, Diogo Ayres de Campos, clarifies that “the reduction of the rate is a continuous effort”. “The State washed its hands. I do not feel well in a country with almost 70% of cesarean sections in the private sector”, he says, explaining that “the State has the capacity to regulate much that goes on in private medicine and has to do that”.