A number of private hospitals in Nizamabad who were found to be conducting a high number of caesarean deliveries have been issued a show cause notice by the district administration. Out of the 80 private hospitals in Nizamabad district, 54 of them were found to be conducting a high number of caesarean section (C-section) surgeries unnecessarily, Nizamabad District Collector C Narayana Reddy told TNM. A show-cause notice has been issued to these hospitals by the District Medical and Health Officer, seeking their explanation. Among these 54 erring hospitals, 11 of them had performed a higher number of C-section surgeries. The list of the hospitals would be released soon, according to the officials.
A caesarean section without a medical need can put a woman at risk of short and long-term health problems. The World Health Organisation advises that caesarean deliveries should only be done when medically necessary. Concerned about the high number of deliveries that were being performed in private hospitals were the highest in the state and that patients were being exploited, the Nizamabad district administration issued notices to the hospitals.
The state government has taken a serious view of the increase in C-section surgeries against the normal deliveries. Three months ago, Health Minister T Harish Rao while urging the officials to encourage people to avail the government-aided health facilities, also asked them to conduct a strict audit of C-section deliveries in private hospitals. The Minister had said that the C-section deliveries, which were rampant in the state, should be brought down.
As part of the strategy to curtail the exploitation of patients, the Minister had announced that an incentive of Rs 3,000 will be given to the government hospital staff if they increase the number of normal deliveries, while private hospitals which register a high number of C-section cases could face the wrath of the government. The Minister threatened that the registrations of the erring private hospitals would be suspended.
The government had found that the problem of C-section was widely prevalent in the northern parts of Telangana.
As per the National Family and Health Survey report 2019-21, more than 75% of the population had delivered through C-section in many districts of the state. A majority of districts in India had over 30% of births delivered in private health facilities that were conducted through C-section.
The survey also observed that the rate of C-section deliveries increased from 17% in 2015-16 to 22% in 2019-21. Out of these 48% of deliveries were in the private health sector, an increase from 41% in 2015-16. The caesarean delivery rate is higher in urban than rural areas (32% against 18%), the survey reported.
According to the Health Department, 62% of the births in Telangana are done through C-section procedure.