Planning to deliver baby in a private hospital? Be careful! The private doctors go for the Caesarean delivery at the drop of a hat, a PGIMER study has found. As per the study, it was found that the number of caesarean deliveries at private hospitals is double as compared to government-run institutions. Even the cost in private facilities is five times higher.
The study published in the March issue of Indian Journal of Community Health, department of community medicine of Post Graduate Institute of Medical Education and Research (PGIMER), Chandigarh, was conducted on 300 women who had delivered a baby in the previous three months. The 150 mothers had delivered the baby in a government-run facility, while as many had opted for a private institution. The study areas were Indira Colony in Manimajra, and Sectors 38, 40 and 41 in Chandigarh.
It was found that 47.3% women from lower socio-economic strata delivered in public sector institutions and 16.7% in private hospitals.
The study also found that in private institutions, the ratio of Caesarean deliveries was much higher as compared to public health institutions. In break-up, 30% of the women delivered babies through Caesarean Section in private hospitals as compared to 17.3% in public institutions.
When it comes to the reason of higher caesarean deliveries in private hospitals, Dr Rajesh Kumar, head, community medicine, who is one of the authors of the study, said that in many cases doctors told them that since the first baby was born with Caesarean and they opted for the same procedure second time also. “It is not a right explanation. Even in case of first delivery, prevalence of caesarean section is much higher. The Caesarean Section is not only convenient but also profitable for doctors. So, they go for it. But when it comes to human anatomy, it is a major surgery and can’t be the first choice, when it comes to child birth,” he said, adding, “Then there are superstitions as people don’t want birth of a baby on some days and the Caesarean can address that also,” he said.
The study also found that most of those delivered in private facility had reported receiving better quality of care than those who delivered in public health institutions.
The cost of delivery in private institutions was significantly higher than the public institutions. The mean expenditure per childbirth in public and private institutions was Rs 4,630 and Rs 21,676, respectively. Most of the deliveries in public institutions were self-financed from personal income (79.3%) compared to 60% in private facility.
“In government hospitals, majority women coming for child deliveries belong to lower-middle class. They keep on working till the last days of their pregnancy, so their muscles building is better as compared to women from upper-middle class. The women coming to us for deliveries are delicate, they can’t bear the pain. So, they themselves opt for Caesarean,” said Dr GK Bedi, private gynaecologist from Sector 33.