In some Danish hospitals, expectant mothers are told to bring their own meals, bedding and diapers for their newborn when they check in to give birth.
The hospitals say that they can’t afford to provide all of the practical things new mothers need after delivery. At Aarhus University’s Skejby hospital, employees say that savings need to be found wherever they can.
“When we need to save, we become creative,” Misan Stehouwer, a midwife at Skejby, told Jyllands-Posten. “We prioritise having staff on hand, so we save [in areas like] juice and bedding.”
In addition to Skejby, Jyllands-Posten reports that Viborg Hospital and the regional hospital in Randers are also making similar moves to save money.
Stehouwer estimated that Skejby has saved upwards of 200,000 kroner by switching from soft drinks to water, purchasing cheaper gloves and other one-time use items and by asking patients to bring their own bedding and clothing.
So far, Copenhagen area hospitals haven’t followed the trend and are continuing to provide diapers and blankets. But according to Jes Søgaard, a health economics professor at Aarhus University, it’s a practise that is likely to expand.
“Patients will to a greater degree experience that they need to bring their own things along,” he told Jyllands-Posten.