Labour and health ministers against birthing houses

The newly-appointed Social and Labour Minister Jana Maláčová and Health Minister Adam Vojtěch are against the idea of setting up birthing houses in the Czech Republic, which would be staffed by midwives.

Maláčová said she had discussed the matter with the health minister and both were of the opinion that it would be better to improve conditions at maternity centres and hospitals, giving women greater privacy and more options in how they want to give birth.

The issue of home births or births assisted by midwives only has been a controversial issue in the Czech Republic for years with doctors vehemently against the idea, saying that in the event of complications it puts at risk both mother and child.

While the law allows the setting up of birthing houses, it has not been carried out in practice since the conditions stipulated are so strict that only hospitals and clinics are able to meet them.