Voluntary regionalization and associated trends in perinatal care: the Nova Scotia Reproductive Care Program

Am J Obstet Gynecol. 1983 Jan 15;145(2):170-6. doi: 10.1016/0002-9378(83)90485-4.


The Nova Scotia Reproductive Care Program is a system of voluntary regionalization that involves the 37 hospitals in the province that provide obstetric care to a population of 850,000. Between 1971 and 1980, the perinatal mortality rate in the central tertiary care unit for nonreferred patients fell progressively from 12.5 per 1,000 total births to 5.16. For all cases, including high-risk referrals, this rate has fallen from 12.7 to 7.2. During the same interval, the perinatal mortality rate for the province's seven regional hospitals fell from 18.7 to 12.2, and that for the 28 community hospitals fell from 18.4 to 7.0. Analysis of these reductions by fitted trend lines demonstrates statistical significance. Further analysis demonstrates that, with regionalization of perinatal services, it is possible to reduce the perinatal mortality rate in small community hospitals to levels that approximate those of a sophisticated tertiary care hospital.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Female
  • Fetal Death / epidemiology
  • Hospitals, Community / statistics & numerical data
  • Hospitals, Maternity / statistics & numerical data
  • Humans
  • Infant Mortality
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Maternal Health Services / organization & administration*
  • Nova Scotia
  • Obstetrics and Gynecology Department, Hospital / standards
  • Pregnancy
  • Prenatal Care* / standards
  • Referral and Consultation
  • Regional Health Planning*
  • Risk