Focus: GS-II Social Justice
Why in news?
Findings of the latest survey on the state of India’s health conducted by the National Statistical Office in 2017-18 shows the proportion of women delivering a child in a hospital (or health care institution) has increased over the past two decades.
- The positive change is that at least nine of every 10 pregnant women now deliver a child in a hospital and thereby avail better health care facilities.
- However, nearly one in 3 women who delivers a child in a hospital undergoes a caesarean-section or C-section surgery.
- C-section surgery is a rate twice of what the international health care community considers ideal, and almost the same it is in the US.
- Personal preferences and older mothers are part reason for this, and in some cases, profiteering, health care workers not having the time / patience / inclination to wait are also a part of the reasons.
- The survey findings also show that it is the private sector hospitals that are largely responsible for the high rate of C-sections in India, as a result of which average Indians pays more for childbirth than they would have otherwise.
- According to the World Health Organisation, which considers the ideal rate for C-sections to be between 10% and 15%, these surgeries are effective in saving maternal and infant lives but only when they are required for medically indicated reasons.
- It is only in the government sector hospitals in rural India where less than 15% women give birth through surgery.
-Source: Hindustan Times