Home > Trends in private maternity care in Ireland's capital during and after the Great Economic Recession 2009-2017.

Reynolds, Ciara M E and McMahon, Léan E and O'Malley, Eimer G and O'Connell, Michael P and Sheehan, Sharon R and Turner, Michael J (2021) Trends in private maternity care in Ireland's capital during and after the Great Economic Recession 2009-2017. Irish Journal of Medical Science, 190, (3), pp. 933-940. doi: 10.1007/s11845-020-02415-z.

External website: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC75921...

BACKGROUND: Maternity care in hospitals in the Republic of Ireland is funded by a hybrid of public finance and private health insurance.

AIMS: The aim of this longitudinal observational study was to investigate the annual trends in maternity care from 2009 to 2017 during and after the Great Economic Recession.

METHODS: All women who delivered a singleton baby weighing ≥ 500 g during the 9 years (2009-2017) were included. Detailed clinical and sociodemographic details were computerised at the first antenatal visit by a trained midwife. Women who delivered their first baby during the study were analysed longitudinally if they delivered again during the 9 years.

RESULTS: The mean age of the 73,266 women was 31.3 ± 5.6 years, 40.1% were nulliparas, and 70.3% were Irish-born. Overall, 75.2% opted for the public, 10.8% for the semi-private, and 14.0% for the private package of maternity care. Over the 9 years, the number of women choosing private and semi-private care decreased by 21.6% and 35.3%, respectively, whereas the number of women using public care increased by 12.3%. Most women opted for the same package of care in subsequent pregnancies.

CONCLUSIONS: Ireland's recent economic recession was accompanied by an overall decrease in the number of women choosing private maternity care after 2009. Furthermore, economic recovery with increasing female employment after 2012 was not associated with a recovery in demand for private care. These findings have important implications for healthcare policies and for the future organisation and funding of our maternity services.

See table 1 for characteristics of the study population analysed by package of maternity care, including percentages for : use of anxiolytics/antidepressants; smoked in pregnancy; any alcohol use in pregnancy; illicit drugs in pregnancy.

Item Type
Publication Type
Irish-related, Open Access, Article
Drug Type
Alcohol, All substances, CNS depressants / Sedatives, Prescription/Over the counter, Tobacco / Nicotine
Intervention Type
Screening / Assessment
Identification #
doi: 10.1007/s11845-020-02415-z
Page Range
pp. 933-940

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