- Associated Press - Thursday, June 26, 2014

PARIS (AP) - France is considering reducing the time mothers spend in maternity wards as part of efforts to cut spending.

French mothers spend on average 4.2 days in the hospital during and after giving birth, compared to 2 days in the U.S. and 1.6 in Britain, according to statistics from the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development.

A report Thursday by the French state health care agency says there could be “significant” cost savings if maternity wards reduced the average length of stay and the numbers of beds for new mothers. At the same time, a plan to help new mothers at home is to be developed.

The French government plans to cut 50 billion euros ($68 billion) in public spending by 2017, including 10 billion euros ($13.6 billion) from health care.

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