Caesarean deliveries have nowadays become a mode of profit in various hospitals over the past few years with private/corporate hospitals deciding on the method based on profits rather than opting for the natural way.
According to statistics released by National Family Health Survey 2014-15 (NFHS-4) shows C-Sections have doubled to 20.1% in the last decade while the WHO says the ideal percentage of C –sections in a country should stay between 10-15% of the total number of deliveries in a country, TOI reported.
But there are still some doctors who care about a patients life more than the money they could earn misguiding a patient.
Delhi’s Sitaram Bhartia hospital is one such to make a difference to the patients life. This private hospital managed to bring down its overall C-section rate from 78% in 2002 to 18% last year relying on various different steps.
“In vaginal births, labour can extend up to 18 hours. But consultants, who work at multiple hospitals devoting just a few hours to each, prefer C-sections as they are faster,” says Dr Rinku Sengupta, head of maternity unit at Sitaram Bhartia.
And to fix this issue, the hospital decided to employ a team of dedicated consultants who dedicate their whole time to this hospital only which ensures the patients no longer have to rely on one time-strapped senior doctor.
The hospital taking its second step brought in a group of nurses trained in midwifery were each patient would be assigned trained nurse.
The third step was to counsel expectant mothers who thought C section was the simpler and safest solution.
“This is a myth and we set up counselling sessions and ante-natal classes to educate women about natural vaginal birth. After counselling, most opted for a natural birth,” says Dr Sengupta.
Now doctors are concerned over the growing number of C-Sections which lead to complications in subsequent pregnancies.
Dr Anuradha Kapoor, Obstetrics and gynaecology Head at Max Saket, Delhi, confirms the natural deliveries rate has gone up in recent years.
“Currently, 35 to 40% of all deliveries at our hospital are through C-section and the rest are normal,” says Dr Kapoor.
To keep a check on hospitals the Health Ministry of India had instructed private hospitals listed under the Central Government Health Scheme in 2017 to publicly display data of all caesarean deliveries.
But according to Dr Duru Shah, a senior gynaecologist in Mumbai, such reviews on C Sections don’t exist in private hospitals, unlike the government hospitals.