World Bulletin / News Desk
Health Minister Recep Akdağ has announced during a TV interview that severe fear of natural childbirth will be considered a medical necessity for cesarean section deliveries.
A heated debate over the procedure erupted after Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, addressing a conference in May, expressed his opposition to C-section surgery, describing it as unnatural. After Erdoğan's remarks, the Ministry of Health drafted legislation to decrease Turkey's high number of C-sections. According to the new law, passed in Parliament on Wednesday, C-section deliveries can now only be performed in cases of medical necessity.
Participating in an interview on CNN Türk on Wednesday evening, Minister Akdağ announced that severe fear of natural birth will be considered a medical necessity in the decision to perform a C-section.
“C-sections will not be performed without medical necessity, but we will even consider severe fear of vaginal delivery as a reason for cesarean delivery. One of the most important reasons that we wrote the law is that doctors have been presenting C-section delivery as a normal alternative to natural birth, which has increased the number of C-section births in Turkey in recent years.”
Akdağ further stated that when a pregnant woman asks about the difference between traditional childbirth and delivery by C-section and which option is better, doctors will no longer be allowed to respond by saying both are the same and recommending a C-section. “Doctors who perform C-section surgeries without medical necessity will be punished. Such acts will be considered bad medical practice,” Akdağ noted.
Stressing the medical risks of C-section births, Akdağ further added that children delivered by C-section are two times more likely to become obese than children delivered by vaginal birth.
According to the most recent data released by the Ministry of Health, the rate of C-section births in 2009 was 39.3 percent for public hospitals, 61.8 percent for private hospitals and 63.2 percent for university hospitals. In 2010 these rates increased to 40.2 percent, 63.7 percent and 65.2 percent, respectively. In 2011 the same rates stood at 36.8 percent, 66.6 percent and 65.9 percent, indicating a gradual increase in C-section surgeries.
The acceptable percentage of C-section births according to the World Health Organization (WHO) is between 15 and 18 percent. The Ministry of Health launched a media campaign earlier this year to help curb increasing rates of birth by C-section, and set a target to reduce the rate to 35 percent by 2013.
Gallup World Poll says while 60% of ethnic Turks are satisfied with Erdogan's leadership, this rate hits 67% among ethnic Kurds.
'No award is more important than the lives of our Palestinian brothers,' says Turkey's Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu
The arrested police officers include Yurt Atayun, former chief of Istanbul’s anti-terror police department
When they reached Gaza, the three shipments were received by the Palestinian Red Crescent
A letter released by Erdogan's office called on the U.S. group to condemn the Israeli government's policies
Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan said the bombardment of Gaza was 'killing humanity'
Neither Israeli's nor Egypt under Al-Sisi are willing to get aid to help the Palestinians in Gaza, says Erdogan.
A week after Turkey and Egypt exhanged insults over the Israeli onslaught in Gaza, Ahmet Davutoglu says all main actors including Egypt had taken part in the cease-fire process
Scores of people also injured after public bus catches fire near Kavacik district
Shadow of slaughter of Palestinians looms over three-day Eid al-Fitr holiday
Painkillers, antibiotics and surgical supplies among 20 tons of aid
Travellers can use $4 billion service for free for one week. An estimated 7.5 million passengers are expected to use the new line.
Abdulrauf Gazi Mohammed flown from Egypt to hospital in city as Turkey moves to treat injured Palestinians stranded in Egypt
Ahmet Davutoglu says no sustainable truce is possible if reality of Hamas is ignored, hours before Israel renews military offensive in Gaza
Israel is perpetrating genocide in Gaza, said Erdogan, adding “Eventually the right will prevail and the oppressor will go to hell”
Turkish Deputy Prime Minister Bulent Arinc said Turkey would reconsider its stance with Tel Aviv if Israeli government changes its mentality.