A team of specialists will be in the district to probe the high rate of caesarean deliveries in government hospitals.
The district, identified as having the highest numbers of such deliveries, had been under the scanner for the last four months.
The data collected from the government institutions in Ernakulam for the last two months show a spike in caesarean deliveries. In December 2012, there were 310 caesarean section surgeries of the total 508 deliveries while in January 2013 there were 304 C-section surgeries of the 507 deliveries in the nine hospitals.
The district general hospital, which is also a referral centre, reported 123 C-section cases of the 205 deliveries in December 2012. In January 2013, it was 136 cases out of 222.
Taluk hospitals that have surgical facilities also show a high percentage of C-section deliveries.
In January, the Women and Child Hospital in Mattancherry had 20 C-section surgeries out of the total 33 deliveries.
N. Sridhar, additional director (Health & Family Welfare), Directorate of Health Services, will head the team that will take up the detailed study. The team would first analyse the situations and circumstances of high incidences of C-sections and compare each hospital with institutions that show a low incidence of LSCS.
“Doctors have been asked to explain why they went for C-section, case by case. And they will be given time to bring down the number,” Dr. Sridhar said.
There are a few government institutions in the north of Kerala, especially in Wayanad, where low number of C-section deliveries was reported. Surgeries up to 15 per cent are acceptable, but the State, especially Ernakulam, shows an average of 60 per cent of deliveries as C-section. In certain institutions the percentage is as high as 72-74 per cent, said district medical officer Junaid Rahman.
“I have been holding meetings with gynaecologists regularly for the last four months but the number of surgeries has not come down even after three months,” said Dr. Rahman.
The earlier system where the consulting gynaecologist takes up surgery was changed about two years ago. Now the on-call gynaecologist does surgeries. Hence, financial benefit for consultant who prescribes C-section is ruled out, he said.