Swedes to give birth across the bridge

Swedes to give birth across the bridge
Pregnant women in southern Sweden can now be sent to hospital in neighbouring Denmark, but the move increases the risk that multiresistant bacteria will spread across the Öresund bridge, experts warned.

The regional Sydsvenskan newspaper reported on Thursday that four Danish hospitals in the greater Copenhagen region were now ready to welcome pregnant Swedes about to give birth.

The deal was struck between the Scania University Hospital (Skånes universitetssjukhus – SUS) due to lack of resources in its hospitals.

“We have previously sent mums to Copenhagen but that’s been for intensive neonatal care, not because our own maternity clinics were full up,” SUS women’s clinic head Andreas Herbst told Sydsvenskan.

There has long been a dispute about working hours in the Skania region, but Herbst said that the staff coverage was now acceptable at maternity wings in Malmö and Lund.

“The staff has worked overtime and broken off their holidays,” he said.

While no Swedes are yet to make the crossing over the sound, the Skane region health authorities have been forced to divert patients to the small town of Halmstad.

The potential shuttle-traffic of pregnant Swedes, however, could put the regional health system at greater risk of multi-resistant bacteria, said Scania deputy communicable disease chief Eva Gustafsson.

She noted, however, that from a European perspective, the Nordic region had comparatively low levels of multi-resistant bacteria in its hospitals and clinics.

TT/The Local/at

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