Catalan Government launches plan against obstetric violence and new pediatric care scheme

Feminism minister says €7m scheme is 'world first', new model for pediatric care also unveiled

Equality Minister Tània Verge and Health Minister Manel Balcells
Equality Minister Tània Verge and Health Minister Manel Balcells / Aina Martí

ACN | @agenciaacn | Catalonia

December 18, 2023 08:18 PM

December 19, 2023 01:08 PM

The Catalan Department of Health will roll out a plan to combat obstetric violence during 2024 and will allocate €7 million to it by 2028.  

According to Catalan Equality and Feminism Minister, Tània Verge, the Catalan government is "the first in the world to present a plan against obstetric violence". 

Examples of obstetric violence include being medicated with contraceptives while going through the menopause, or not explaining to women with cancer how the illness affects their sex life.  

Births under scrutiny 

Births are one of the procedures that will be watched closely with the new plan. 

"It can't be that there are more C-sections on Fridays than on Mondays. Or more before the Christmas holidays than after," Catalan Health Minister, Manel Balcells, said. 


With the new plan, international recommendations regarding C-sections will have to be respected. This means that the percentage of C-sections among no-risk pregnancies should not surpass 15%.  

Voluntary classes to end "sexist gaze" 

The program also wants to end the "sexist gaze" of healthcare workers and will offer voluntary classes related to topics like endometriosis, reproductive and sexual rights, contraceptive services, and the health of trans people, among others.  

Balcells admits that the term "obstetric violence" generates discomfort among health professionals, but stresses that the purpose of the plan is not to "accuse, but to improve" the quality of the medical attention. 

"Everything that has been done systematically without asking for permission, without consent, and without informing patients was not okay", says the health minister.  

New model for pediatric care 

Also announced on Monday, the Catalan Department of Health is to create 79 territorial units of pediatricians and pediatric nurses in Primary Health Centers (CAPs) to ensure that patients' travel time doesn't exceed 30 minutes. 

These teams will consist of 8 to 15 pediatricians and 8 to 15 pediatric nurses, as well as other specialists in child and teen care. 

They will be located in primary care centers or other spaces, and the journey to reach them should not exceed 30 minutes using normal means of transportation, said Gemma Ricós, the head of pediatric care at the Ministry of Health, during the presentation of the new model on Monday. 

Another novelty is that from June, the 061 hotline will include a pediatric service to provide specialized care to families.