In a letter titled "Caesarian conflict", published in The Scotsman yesterday, Dr John Cameron claims that Bupa will only pay for an emergency cesarean that saves the mother's life, but not the baby's.
I'm genuinely shocked. Can this really be true? I hope not.
Here's the letter in full:
While it has long been known that Caesarean birth is a part of a turf war between nursing midwives and obstetricians, this dangerous in-house conflict has recently escalated.
In January the health insurer Bupa informed hospitals and consultants that it would only cover a caesarean section in the extreme circumstance of the mother’s life being at risk. The doctor’s federation was outraged, given that the latest clinical guidelines clearly state that an emergency Caesarean must be carried out if the mother or the baby are in danger.
The Bupa panel of nurses who decide such things remained intransigent and it almost led to the deaths of twins, one in the breech position and the other in the transverse position. Fortunately, a consultant obstetrician carried out an emergency Caesarean and saved the twins and the mother’s parents footed the bill which an obdurate Bupa refused to pay.
I think this silly nonsense has gone on long enough and that Bupa’s omniscient “panel of nurses” needs to get a grip on reality and place a little more value on the life of a baby.
Important: Bupa's statement (received 2.35pm May 1, 2012) as follows:
"As is typical with health insurance,
pregnancy and childbirth are excluded as polices only cover acute illness and not normal life events or preventative treatment.
Women who experience complications during pregnancy, often in an emergency, usually access NHS treatment, which offers one of the best maternity services in the world. However, we appreciate that there are times when the mother's health or life are at risk, which may include risk to the foetus, and a caesarean section is required. If the mother chooses to have the operation in a private hospital, Bupa will cover this.
We have not changed our policy but we have recently clarified it with consultants following a dramatic increase in the number of caesarean sections carried out by obstetricians which did not meet clinical guidelines as set out by the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists. This clarification means that we only cover operations that are clinically appropriate and in line with medical best practice and that our customers are not paying for inappropriate care which in turn, results in increased premiums."]