Greed Over Ethics? 9 Lakh C-Sections In Private Hospitals Were Needless, Driven By Financial Motive: IIM-A Report

A private hospital in Karnataka. (Mint via Getty Images)

A study conducted by IIM Ahmedabad has revealed that there was as many as nine lakh “preventable” and unplanned Caesarean section (C-section) deliveries out of the total seventy lakh in private hospitals, in India over one year, as reported by The Tribune.

It further says that a woman opting for the private facility is 13.5-14 percentage points more likely to undergo an unplanned C-section (compared to public facilities).

The staggering figures are based on the fourth round of the National Family Health Survey (NFHS), carried out in 2015-16. The data had found that 40.9 per cent births in private facilities in India were through C-section, which is 11.9 per cent in public facilities.

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The study observes that “supplier-induced demand” for unplanned C-section births in private facilities is mainly driven by “financial incentives.” The IIM-A study, quoting NFHS data says that natural birth in private facility costs, on an average, Rs 10,814, while a C-section costs Rs 23,978.

The government will have to strengthen “public sector facilities, not just regarding equipment and staffing, but also in terms of facility timings, absenteeism and attitudes of service providers,” to bring down the number of “C-sections that are not needed,” the report said.

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