It is time that is tight and precious for both pregnant women and medical teams. The longer the journey to the maternity ward, the greater the risk of having late treatment in the event of complications.

In a study published at the end of July, the Drees points to an increase in journeys, in particular because of the closure of many maternity hospitals since 2000.

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Travel times of more than 30 min

Thus, the Drees indicates that “the proportion of women living more than 30 minutes from a maternity hospital increased by around a third between 2000 and 2017 to stand at around 7% 3. The proportion of those living more than 45 minutes from a maternity hospital is also increasing (+ 40% approximately)”.

Closures of establishments

Other information provided by this study: the number of maternities decreased between 2000 and 2007. Specialized establishments have passed “from 717 to 496, thus reducing the supply of care.

However, “at departmental level, the situation is mixed“, observe the authors of the Drees. As this map of the Drees shows, rapid access to maternity is unevenly distributed according to the regions of France.

In certain departments such as Lot, Nièvre or Cantal, the supply has “sharply” deteriorated. “in the Nièvre: in 2017, 16% of the women who live there are more than 45 minutes from a maternity ward, whereas they were only 3% in 2020. “

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