Are private hospitals cashing in by preforming unneeded C-sections?
The decision on where to give birth to your baby is taken very early in the pregnancy. Here in Oman, for example, Muscat Private Hospital doesn't accept late term registrations. If you want to give birth in their hospital, you have to decide right from the begining and sign-in for their package which includes the birth as well as the prenatal visits during the pregnancy.
At the time that we were making this decision a lot of people told us that private hospitals are more likely to go for a C-section because they make more money that way. I was inclined to believe it just on the basis of all the women I know who gave caesarian births at private hospitals compared to the others I know who gave birth in government hospitals where the ratio of natural birth was much higher. In the end we chose to go for a public hospital for various factors including our choice of doctor who said she would be more comfortable working with her team at Khoula Hospital rather than with a team she's not used to at a private hospital.
The statistics in the graphic above are based Sharjah hospitals. It shows that in 2004 82% of births in public hospitals were by natural delivery, going down to 81% in 2005. However in Sharjah's private hospitals the figures show that only 73% of births were by natural delivery in 2004, going down to 67% in 2005.
Could it be because private hospitals are more likely to give the choice between natural birth or caesarian to women (which some women prefer), or are these private hospitals really taking advantage to make a profit?