Display data of C-section and normal deliveries, says Maneka Gandhi

Writes to Health Minister seeking periodic audit of private hospitals

Published - July 14, 2017 10:35 pm IST - New Delhi

Private hospitals are likely to be audited and asked to display the data of normal and C-section deliveries prominently.

Private hospitals are likely to be audited and asked to display the data of normal and C-section deliveries prominently.

In a bid to combat the alarming rise in caesarean section operations in India, private hospitals are likely to be audited and asked to display the data of normal and C-section deliveries prominently.

Women and Child Development (WCD) Minister Maneka Gandhi has written to Health Minister J.P. Nadda asking that it be made mandatory for private hospitals empanelled with the Central Government Health Scheme (CGHS) to display the data of C-section and normal deliveries. The Minister has further demanded that the Health Ministry direct State governments to conduct periodic audits of private hospitals to ensure unnecessary procedures are not being conducted.

“In recent years, the C-section surgeries have shown an unusual rise. I have received a large number of complaints in this regard. C-section surgeries have a serious impact not only on the health of the mother but also on her ability to continue work after delivery. Repeated C-section surgeries will also affect the reproductive health of a woman. We are working closely with the health ministry and keeping a close watch on the situation to take remedial measures in this regard,” Ms. Gandhi told The Hindu .

According to the latest data from the National Family Health Survey 2014-15 (NFHS-4), C-section surgeries have doubled over the last decade across India. The increase is sharp in States such as Telangana, where the decision to not conduct a normal delivery is determined by non-medical factors, such as insurance and costs.

Telangana tops list

The NFHS-4 data revealed that Telangana has the highest number of C-section deliveries in the country, with 74.9% babies born this way in private hospitals. Over 40% of the deliveries in Bihar were C-sections, while 58 % of the deliveries in Maharashtra were through C-section procedures.

As per World Health Organization guidelines, 10-15% of deliveries being C-sections is considered appropriate. In a series of tweets, the WCD Ministry said that, “the alarming percentage of C-section (sic) surgeries being conducted in pvt. and public hospitals has been a grave cause of worry.” The Ministry’s Twitter handle added that they would reach out to FOGSI (Federation of Obstetric & Gynaecological Societies of India) to campaign about the harmful effects of unwarranted C-sections.

“We haven’t yet received a formal communication from the ministry but this is a subject of utmost importance. Unnecessary C-sections affect maternal and neo-natal mortality. For years, we have fought very hard to bring down these rates,” said Dr. Rishma Pai, president, FOGSI.

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