Ministry presents action plan on health around childbirth

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Written By Rivera Claudia

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Berlin – The Federal Ministry of Health (BMG) wants to ask the federal states to agree on a uniform catalogue of data on the health care situation in Germany, which is regularly collected by the states and which also includes data on obstetric care.

This comes from the action plan “Health near birth“, which BMG has now presented. The background is the insufficient data situation in the area of ​​obstetric care, which means that the supply situation cannot be reliably assessed, it was said.

“In the past, several reports have been repeatedly commissioned at the state and federal levels in order to gain new insights,” the action plan says. However, the reports could only “provide selective information on the specific issues of the respective investigation orders at certain points in time.”

They have not provided any systematic and regular data that would allow reliable insights into the essential aspects of the supply situation across Germany to be obtained. The BMG therefore wants the states to collect the relevant data in the future.

Data on obstetric care

“In addition, BMG has… Federal Institute of Vocational Training in 2023, a feasibility study for detailed and long-term monitoring of the demand for and supply of health and care professions (Specialized monitoring from BMG) was commissioned,” the action plan continues.

“The aim of the feasibility study was to create a scientifically sound monitoring and projection concept in order to build up a meaningful database on the current and future skilled workforce in the health and care sector and thus also on obstetric care. to implement the concept.

The “Health around Birth” action plan is based on the national health objective of the same name, which the cooperation network “healthgoals.dewith the participation of BMG in 2017. As a result, the traffic light coalition announced the development of the action plan in its coalition agreement.

Social differences

The action plan contains further measures that BMG intends to implement to improve care for pregnant women, their children and families with newborns. Numerous measures have already been taken by the government and other stakeholders. “However, there is a need for further action,” the action plan says.

“The current situation is also characterised by a relatively high rate of births with medical interventions, including caesarean sections, compared internationally, as well as complaints from families and associations about inadequate obstetric capacities and about care and support before, during and after childbirth.”

Furthermore, there are social inequalities in access to and use of basic care based on needs and support offers in the life stage around birth.

Check the disincentives

The measures that BMG is planning include an analysis of whether false incentives in the system are responsible for the high number of interventions in obstetric care in Germany and, if so, how these can be counteracted.

Furthermore, BMG is planning a technical discussion with specialist societies involved in obstetric care with the aim of strengthening resource-oriented counseling in the context of antenatal care, given the often risk-oriented communication.

“The coalition agreement provides for the introduction of a 1:1 staffing ratio for midwifery care during the essential stages of labour,” it continues. “Following the completion of the evaluation of the midwifery funding programme, it will be examined whether an improvement in the proportion of posts could be achieved and what additional measures may be needed.”

Include nutritional medicine in your medical studies

Furthermore, it is “of great importance” to impart specialist knowledge on nutrition and exercise during pregnancy, infant nutrition including breastfeeding, promoting bonding and conversation skills in medical training, according to the action plan. “Reform considerations should explicitly include the topic of nutritional medicine in medical studies.”

By 2026, a study carried out by the Federal Ministry of Food and Agriculture (BMELThe )-funded research project examines the status quo of nutrition education, including breastfeeding, by pediatricians and adolescent doctors, clinical staff, nursing staff and midwives with the aim of identifying any deficits and deriving measures from the results. © fos/aerzteblatt.de

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