Name and shame doctors who do needless caesarean, says Maneka
New Delhi: An alarming rise in caesarean section surgeries in India, mainly in private hospitals, has come under the scanner leading to over 1.3 lakh people signing an online petition, seeking government intervention to bring in accountability and transparency in institutional deliveries.
Following the petition, women and child development minister Maneka Gandhi wrote to health minister J P Nadda, suggesting to make it mandatory for hospitals to publicly display the number of c-section surgeries and normal deliveries carried out.
"I'd like to share my concern over alarming percentage of c-section surgeries being conducted in hospitals these days. This issue has been deeply worrying me as it has direct linkage with the health of women per se... The situation is much worse in private hospitals, which is a matter of grave concern," Gandhi tweeted on Wednesday, adding she had written to Nadda about the scale of the problem and its repercussions.
"We would like naming and shaming of gynaecologists who do Caesarean deliveries for no reason at all except money. I would like all women in India to get together and start protesting because a Caesarean for a woman is very invasive, and it turns a natural delivery into something that is an unnecessary operation," Gandhi told reporters
According to the National Family Health Survey 2015-16, conducted in 15 states and UTs, rate of c-section surgeries in some states is as high as 87.1%, whereas the World Health Organisation (WHO) norms prescribe c-section deliveries to be at 10-15% of the total number of deliveries in the country.
The online petition, which was started on Change.org by Mumbai-based Subarna Ghosh, seeks to highlight the trend of hospitals and doctors increasingly pushing unsuspecting women towards surgical deliveries.
"Caesarean deliveries have become a business," Ghosh said in her petition and narrated her personal story of how she experienced a "depressing and painful recovery" after being misled that a Caesarean delivery was more "scientific, modern and risk-free".
According to a study done by Chayan Roy Choudhury, a research scholar of the International Institute for Population Sciences, there is 16.7 per cent rise in c-section cases annually in India, one of the highest in the world.
Government data show 87.1% of private sector deliveries in urban Tripura are through cesarean surgeries, whereas 36.4% of those were in the government sector. In Telengana, 74.8% of the private sector deliveries are by C-sec, against 75.1% in rural areas.
In Andhra Pradesh, the figures are 60.9% and 31% for private and government sector health institutions respectively. In Haryana, C-sec deliveries in the private sector are at 25.3% in both urban and rural areas.
Though C-section deliveries can effectively prevent maternal and perinatal mortality and morbidity, there is no evidence showing benefits of such surgery for women or infants who do not require the procedure.
Instead, C-section surgeries are associated with short and long term risks which can extend many years beyond the delivery and affect the health of the woman, child and future pregnancies. C-section also leads to a long recovery period and risk of infection.
Are you one of the lucky ones who came into the world through a normal delivery? If you were, you must be more than 30 years old or born in some remote village not adulterated with modern medical facilities and had to depend upon midwives for deliveries. For in recent years, nine out of 10 babies born to mothers in urban hospitals and nursing homes come with the help of a doctor's knife. The more modern(costly?) the hospital the higher the chances are that they used a better, sharper knife (Swiss?).