The UK has failed to make the top 10 for safest country to give birth in for the third year in a row, the annual State Of The World’s Mothers report has found.
According to the study by Save the Children, the last time the UK was in the top 10 was back in 2012.
“This news is shocking. We think of ourselves as privileged to live in the safety of the UK with a world class health care system. But these figures show us a very sinister truth,” said Obi Amadi, Unite lead professional officer.
The study says that women in the UK are twice as likely to die in childbirth and pregnancy as those in Poland, Austria or Belarus and a child born in the UK is also twice as likely to die before the age of five then a child in Iceland or Luxembourg.
The UK’s child mortality rate is 4.6 per 1,000 births. Iceland’s rate is 2.1 and Luxembourg’s is 2.0 per 1,000 births.
Survival of the richest
The report also looks at the maternal and child health gap between rich and poor for some of the world’s biggest cities.
It found that the gap in survival rates between rich and poor was huge.
“For babies born in many of the world’s fast-growing cities, it’s survival of the richest,” said Jasmine Whitbread of Save the Children.
“The fact that the UK is slipping down the list of safest countries to give birth in is evidence that our NHS needs more funding, more staff and more resources,” added Obi.
Waiting times are at the highest levels since the 1990s, over half of NHS trusts are in debt, dozens of ambulance stations have been axed, there are 9,746 fewer NHS beds and 66 A&E units have been shut or are at risk of being shut.
“We know that if David Cameron wins another term in tomorrow’s election our NHS is done for, “she added.
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