Caesarean section deliveries in Bengaluru have gone up: NFHS

Health Women

Hospitals suggest them to earn more,say experts.

Owing to medical reasons, there has been an increase in caesarean section deliveries in Bengaluru. Experts say hospitals advise women to go for C-section to make monetary gains.

Statistics of the National Family Health Survey-5 show that about 30.6 percent of pregnant women in Bengaluru Urban had C-section deliveries whereas 43.6 percent in Bengaluru Rural had the same in 2019-20. 

The percentage of women who had C-section at private facilities was 48.9, while that for public hospitals was 16 in Bengaluru Urban. The percentage of women in rural parts of the city who had C-section in private facilities saw a rise of about 15.5. 

Swati Singh, a homemaker, informed The Observer: “I wanted a normal delivery, but the doctor gave me a medicine to reduce my labor pain. After taking that medicine, I had no labor pain…, so I consulted another doctor and then I got to know that the medicine had caused some complications because of which I had to go through a C-section. My previous doctor gave me that medicine so that he could make me go through a C-section and he could earn more money from it. I was lucky… to get a good doctor the second time.”

Nidhi Kumari, an engineer who had undergone a C-section in 2017, said: “My doctor told me that normal delivery was not possible as the baby was stuck inside. I had no option left as I had been in 12 hours of labor pain. I could not take more so I went ahead with a C-section.”

Ashwini  MV, a digital solution manager, shared: “Both my kids were delivered through C- section. In my case, there were certain complications so I had to get a C-section. The second time I decided to not go for a normal delivery because it would have been too risky.”

Priya Deshpande, a finance associate, said: “Almost after 12 hours of trial, I had to go for a C-section as I couldn’t take it anymore. Although I have heard a lot of cases where women  have undergone surgery as the doctor wants to get done with it or the mother is not ready to wait that long.”

Insurance has made things easy as the entire cost of the operation is covered, Deshpande added.

Angan Sengupta, a health economist who has done research on the increase in C–section deliveries in Bengaluru, said: “C-section has to be used in case of complications, but there are other reasons for it. C-sections are less painful. With insurance, one can easily afford them. Many hospitals use this to earn more even when it is not required.”

Research by IIM-Ahmedabad in 2018 suggests that about 9 lakh preventable C-sections deliveries happened in private hospitals in one year. It also highlights that the probability of an unplanned C-section is about 14 percent higher in private sector facilities. 

Chethana Mohan, owner of Janani Maternity Home, said that in her hospital, the ration of C-section deliveries and normal deliveries is 60:40. About 70 percent of women nowadays go for a cesarean rather than a normal delivery. 

Dr Aparnaa Panda, a consultant obstetrician, and gynecologist, said: “In Bangalore, C-section rate is still low as compared to cities in northern India. Nowadays the charges for normal and cesarean deliveries are the same. I get around 40 cases of C-section in OPD. In today’s time, due to a sedentary lifestyle, food habits and high-risk pregnancies,  normal deliveries are becoming very difficult.”

A C-section delivery costs twice or thrice a normal delivery. As hospitals lack staff and time, they advise C-section.  “With insurance and other schemes available, many people are opting for it,” Sengupta shared.’

Dr Aruna T, associate consultant gynecologist, said: “Many women opt for surgery in fear of labor pain. A sedentary lifestyle coupled with unhealthy food habits indirectly leads to obesity, diabetes and hypertension during pregnancy which increases the probability of a cesarean section.” 

The cost of a C-section is similar to that of a normal delivery, she added. 

WHO says the ideal rate of C-sections should be between 10 percent and 15 percent. It should be taken up only in cases where complications arise. C- sections can cause significant and permanent complications, disability or even death.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *