Rural maternity care: Can we learn from Wal-Mart?

van Teijlingen, E. and Pitchforth, E., 2010. Rural maternity care: Can we learn from Wal-Mart? Health & Place, 16 (2), pp. 359-364.

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Official URL: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science?_ob=ArticleUR...

DOI: 10.1016/j.healthplace.2009.11.007

Abstract

In many countries rural maternity care is under threat. Consequently rural pregnant women will have to travel further to attend larger maternity units to receive care and deliver their babies. This trend is not dissimilar from the disappearance of other rural services, such as village shops, banks, post offices and bus services. We use a comparative approach to draw an analogy with large-scale supermarkets, such as the Wal-Mart and Tesco and their effect on the viability of smaller rural shops, depersonalisation of service and the wider community. The closure of a community–maternity unit leads to women attending a different type of hospital with a different approach to maternity care. Thus small community–midwifery units are being replaced, not by a very similar unit that happens to be further away, but by a larger obstetric unit that operates on different models, philosophy and notions of risk. Comparative analysis allows a fresh perspective on the provision of rural maternity services. We argue that previous discussions focusing on medicalisation and change in maternity services can be enhanced by drawing on experience in other sectors and taking a wider societal lens.

Item Type:Article
ISSN:1353-8292
Uncontrolled Keywords:Birth; Rural; Centralisation; Medicalisation; Retail sector; Comparative studies
Subjects:Geography and Environmental Studies
Social Sciences > Sociology
Social Sciences > Commerce
Technology > Medicine and Health
Group:School of Health and Social Care
ID Code:12607
Deposited By:Prof Edwin van Teijlingen
Deposited On:22 Dec 2009 16:27
Last Modified:07 Mar 2013 15:19

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