After misuse, NHM to review incentives given to docs for night C-section deliveries in Punjab | punjab | top | Hindustan Times
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After misuse, NHM to review incentives given to docs for night C-section deliveries in Punjab

Hindustan Times, in its series of reports highlighted that how doctors here have been making fast bucks by manipulating timings to perform the C-section delivery at night.

punjab Updated: Oct 30, 2017 10:18 IST
Parampreet Singh Narula
Parampreet Singh Narula
Hindustan Times, Moga
incentives to docs,Moga,C-section deliveries
A whopping 70% of C-section deliveries at the Moga civil hospital for two months from August 1 to September 30 were done at night. (Getty Images/iStockphoto )

National Health Mission (NHM) managing director Varun Roojam has formed a three-member state-level board to review incentives given to obstetrics team for caesarean section (C-section) deliveries done in government hospitals at night.

Cases at Moga led aroused suspicion
  • From April 1, 2016 to March 31, 2017, 60% of C-section deliveries were done at night at the Moga civil hospital
  • From August 1 to September 30, 2017, 70% of C-section deliveries were done at night at the same hospital

The incentive — of Rs 3,000 cash for the obstetrics team of six involved in the operation — was meant to encourage doctors stay in the hospital at night for deliveries and improve health care for the mother and child. It was announced three years ago.

Hindustan Times, in its series of reports highlighted that how doctors here have been making fast bucks by manipulating timings to perform the C-section delivery at night.

Sample this: A whopping 70% of C-section deliveries at the Moga civil hospital for two months from August 1 to September 30 were done at night. This high number has strengthened the suspicion that the doctors are manipulating numbers or the timing of the operation to corner the incentive. From August 1, 2017, to September 30, 2017, 323 babies were delivered during the night through C-section, while only 132 C-sections were performed during the day.

C-section vs natural birth: Why are expectant moms increasingly coming under the scalpel?

Latest figures are no let-up

The decision to review the incentive comes as the trend of disproportionately large number of C-section deliveries at night has continued since the last financial year. From April 1, 2016 to March 31, 2017, 60% of C-section deliveries were done at night. Of 2,256 C-sections, 1,338 were delivered at night with 918 during the day. Record shows a negligible percentage was done during 4-8pm. These figures show that the government then paid over Rs 40 lakh in incentive.

How is the incentive structured?
  • Of the Rs 3,000 incentive for C-sections at night given in government hospitals, the gynaecologist gets Rs 1,000; the paediatrician and the anaesthetist gets Rs 700 each; Rs 600 is given to the paramedical staff of four — Rs 250 for the staff nurse, Rs 150 for the OT assistant and Rs 100 to the two Class-4 employees.

The data for normal deliveries is just the opposite, of 2,987 normal deliveries, 1,600 babies were born during the day and 1,392 at night.

Of the Rs 3,000 incentive for C-sections at night, the gynaecologist gets Rs 1,000; the paediatrician and the anaesthetist gets Rs 700 each; Rs 600 is given to the paramedical staff of four — Rs 250 for the staff nurse, Rs 150 for the OT assistant and Rs 100 to two Class-4 employees.

Board will conduct state-level inquiry

Punjab’s director, health and family welfare Dr Jai Singh will head the board that the NHM has formed to review the incentive. NMH director Dr Avneet Kaur and Moga civil surgeon Dr Manjit Singh are the two other members of the board. The board will conduct a state-level inquiry into the matter and submit a report to principal secretary, health, Anjali Bhawra. Roojam could not be contacted despite repeated attempts.

Punjab health minister Brahm Mohindra told HT, “The matter is in my notice. The issue will be studied and action taken for improvement.”

First Published: Oct 30, 2017 10:15 IST