High incidence of Caesareans raises eyebrows

The Medical and Health Department has launched an inquiry into the high incidence of caesarean operations in the district and served notices on some private hospitals where the number of operations done is far higher than the prescribed limits. These hospitals have been found to have delivered 32 per cent of babies through C section.

The World Health Organisation initially recommended 15 per cent as the ideal rate of caesarean deliveries, but subsequently withdrew it for want of empirical evidence.

However, the Medical and Health Department has decided to keep a tab on private hospitals to prevent exploitation.

According to official sources, 82,000 babies are born in the district every year and nearly 62 per cent of the deliveries take place in private hospitals. It is, therefore, imperative that the guidelines issued by the Ministry of Health & Family Welfare are scrupulously followed and WHO objectives achieved.

As there are many hospitals outside the government sector rendering a whole gamut of obstetric and gynaecological services, the Medical and Health Department has decided to make detailed inspections for extracting accountability with the larger goal of ensuring well-being of pregnant women.

Caesarean operations are to be done for maximising the best possible maternal and neonatal outcomes, but there is a tendency to conduct these surgeries even when a woman can give birth normally.

A caesarean operation has to be done only if vaginal delivery is considered risky for both the mother and the baby, but this norm is reportedly not being adhered to nowadays.

Besides, there are apparently several cases where C sections are done as per the mothers’ choice.

These things prompted the department to check the trend and dig deeper into facts so that remedial action can be taken.