Brazil’s health minister has unveiled new rules aimed at stemming what he calls an “epidemic of cesareans” by private health care providers and promoting natural births.
Arthur Chioro says health insurance companies will have to provide users with information about the percentage of cesareans performed by individual doctors and hospitals.
The ministry says in a statement issued Tuesday that 84 percent of births covered by private health plans now are cesareans. That compares to 40 percent in Brazil’s public hospitals.
Chioro says the ministry is treating the heavy number of cesareans as a public health problem.
Nearly 24 million Brazilian women have private health plans that cover obstetric services.