Ongoing study - The Belgian hospital landscape is characterised by a high density of maternity and paediatric hospital services, both with a low average occupancy rate. One of the conclusions of KCE Report 289 was that a reduction of the number of maternity services is indicated. Internationally, economies of scale are a main driver in these reforms but efficiency and accessibility should be balanced.
The aim of the current study is to assess the number and geographic spread of maternity and paediatric hospital services. This will be done on the basis of an evaluation of accessibility (based on geographical information systems - GIS) and economies of scale. The latter will include an analysis of the relationship between activity (for example the number of deliveries) and (staff) costs. The organisation of paediatric hospital services in a selection of countries will be studied and a review of the literature on specific organisation forms will be conducted to draw lessons for the Belgian context.