One more minute.
The average access time to a maternity hospital for one in two women increased slightly between 2000 and 2017 because of the closures of establishments, going from 8 to 9 minutes, according to a study published Thursday by the Research Directorate, Studies , evaluation and statistics (Drees).
"In 2017, half of women of childbearing age reside less than 9 minutes from the nearest maternity hospital", according to the Drees, against 8 minutes in 2000, "an increase of 15.3%", described as " light ”.
This increase in access time is explained in particular by the closure of establishments, which “prevails” over a more general movement to bring the place of residence of women closer to maternity hospitals.
Read alsoChoice of motherhood: the first criterion, proximity!
In France, the number of maternity hospitals rose from 717 to 496 between 2000 and 2017. As a result, nearly 8% of French women between 15 and 44 years old lived more than 30 minutes from a maternity ward in 2017, compared with around 5% in France. 2000, according to the statistical service of the social ministries.
Over 45 minutes in eleven departments
If establishments are closing, it is to concentrate the supply of care on larger maternities, which do more deliveries and which are specialized in the care of high-risk pregnancies, explains the study.
But in 11 departments, "women of childbearing age all reside more than 45 minutes from a maternity hospital of this type," she adds.
Furthermore, these estimates do not take into account any improvements to the road network that occurred during the period.
“At the departmental level, the situation is contrasted,” however qualified the Drees.
For example, accessibility deteriorates sharply in the Lot, Nièvre and Cantal, but the proportion of women living away from maternity hospitals is reduced in Corsica and in the Alpes-de-Haute-Provence.