Maternity care in Greece

The 19th century was an important point in Greek history. In the 3rd decade the state of Greece was created after the Greek revolution against the Ottoman Empire and the Greek state made efforts for improving the maternity services provided to the population. The legislative decree targeting to the foundation of a School of Midwives in the early ’30s was the first one of that. At the beginning of the 20th century a special legislation concerned with the protection of working mothers was introduced, while constitutionally motherhood is protected from 1927 (article 21). In the last two decades of the 20th century, Greece reached the internationally accepted levels in both infant and maternal mortality. However, on contraception and induced abortion it still remains room for improvement, as the modern contraceptive methods are not widely used in Greece and abortion continues constituting one of the forms of birth control in the country. The participation in programs of prenatal care has considerably improved in the last decades, while deliveries have been completely medicalised; and although this fact is associated with low infant and maternal mortality, is also associated with an increase of caesarian sections to 30–40% of the deliveries. Furthermore, the vast majority of the deliveries are tak­ing place in private maternity clinics and not in the hospitals of the Greek National Health System (ESY). That has to be a warning signal to explore the reasons underlying to the phenomenon, which constitutes a common practice for most of the Greek families despite the fact that this practice is also connected with an economic burden. The provision of maternity services in Greece has been studied from medical and epidemiological perspectives, however the available literature regarding the provision of nursing and midwifery care as well as regarding the clients’ experience from the provided services is limited.

Category: Volume 45, N 2
Hits: 128 Hits
Created Date: 15-06-2006
Authors: Despina Sapountzi-Krepia , Katri Vehviläinen-Julkunen