Cyprus first in caesarean sections

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Cyprus has the highest ratio of caesarean sections compared to its population among EU states, having recorded 687 caesarean sections per 100,000 inhabitants.

This is according to Eurostat data on the two most common surgical operations and procedures performed in EU hospitals, namely cataract surgeries and caesarean sections.

In 2021, 1.14 million caesarean sections were performed in the EU, a similar value to the one registered in 2019, despite the general delays across medical specialities in consults and surgeries caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.

In most EU countries, 150 and 400 caesarean sections were performed per 100,000 inhabitants in 2021.

Cyprus registered the highest ratio, with 687 caesarean sections performed per 100,000 inhabitants, followed by Romania (448), Ireland (428), Bulgaria (396) and Poland (371).

Caesarean sections were less frequent in the Netherlands (148, 2019 data), Spain (172), Lithuania (176), Finland (186) and Slovenia (193).

The most common surgical operation in the EU was cataract surgery, performed 4.32 million times across the bloc, marking a 4% decrease from 2019 (4.49 million), partly due to the pandemic.

France recorded the highest rate of cataract surgery in 2021, with 1,417 times per 100,000 inhabitants. France was followed by Austria (1,340), Estonia (1,310), Luxembourg (1,286) and Czechia (1,253).

In contrast, cataract surgery was performed only 261 times per 100,000 in Romania.

The rates were also low in Hungary (480), Malta (509), Poland (528) and Bulgaria (662).

Cyprus recorded a relatively high rate of cataract surgery, at 1,174 times per 100,000 inhabitants.

In 19 EU countries, less than 10% of cataract surgeries were performed as in-patient procedures.

The lowest rates were recorded in Cyprus (0.2%), Slovenia (0.4%), Spain (0.7%) and Denmark (0.9%).

More than half of the cataract surgery performed on in-patients were registered in Bulgaria (55.2%) and Romania (54.5%).

Between 2011 and 2021, the proportion of in-patient procedures for cataract surgery decreased in nearly all EU countries, except for Finland (an increase of 0.6 percentage points) and Estonia (0.5 pp increase).