Rise in unneeded C-sections: Name and shame doctors says Maneka Gandhi

Maneka Gandhi

Labour pains can give anyone shivers down the spine. And this is becoming a reason for modern Indian women to opt for Caesarean delivery while they are pregnant rather than going for a normal delivery. In some cases it’s the doctors to blame since they encourage C-secs as it’s more lucrative for hospitals.

To curb this practice from happening without any valid reason, Women and Child Development Minister Maneka Gandhi has suggested that doctors who do it should be “named and shamed”. Maneka Gandhi has also written about this to the Health Minister J P Nadda.

The petition, started by a woman named Subharna Ghosh, has as of now received 13 lakh signatures.

Gandhi has demanded hospitals to come up front with the percentage of C-section surgeries done in the past in order to increase their profits. This would be in response to a Change.org petition against the issue. The petition, started by a woman named Subharna Ghosh, has as of now received 13 lakh signatures.

We would probably need multiple methods to attack this problem. One could be mandating the nursing homes and hospitals to publicly display the number of C-section deliveries vis-a-vis the normal deliveries during the month,” Gandhi wrote in her letter to Nadda, reported Economic Times.

“We would like naming and shaming of gynecologists who do Cesarean deliveries for no reason at all except money. I would like all women in India to get together and start protesting because a Cesarean for a woman is very invasive, and it turns a natural delivery into something that is an unnecessary operation,” Gandhi told reporters.

Recently, Telangana government acknowledged this rising trend and said that it is becoming a concern in its capital city of Hyderabad.

Dr C Laxma Reddy, the Health Minister of the state told the Legislative Assembly that she has ordered all the district health and medical officers to restrict such unnecessary C-section deliveries during the question hour.

All the hospitals in the state have been instructed to send details of all the C section surgeries they have done throughout the month and the reasons of the circumstances in which they were done. “This will help us analyse and curb unwanted surgical operations,” the minister said, as reported by TOI.

However it is not just Telangana, where the C section surgery trend is rising. It is moving at the same pace in all the parts of the country. The World Health Organisation has set the limit for having C sections for each country at 10 to 15 percent.

But in the last decade many states have seen a steep upward curve in the percentage like 41% of deliveries in Kerala, and 58% in Tamil Nadu, according to a report. And while it may be misconstrued that it is only an urban phenomenon, it is happening both in rural and urban sectors as the growth is seen on both private and public hospitals in Mumbai. And a study dated January 2007-December 2012 claimed that in these six years, the rate increased from 31% to 51% in Haryana.

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An Obstetrician and Gynaecologist, Madhu Goel who has her clinic in Delhi talked to SheThePeople.TV and said that about 25% women who come to her for their pregnancy check-up ask for a caesarean operation when they do not need it at all. “Women should allow doctors to make such decisions and a caesarean should only be done when required and when not they should go for a normal delivery as that is a natural form of conceiving a baby.”

She added, “So when women come to us we try and counsel them but they usually come headstrong.”

Goel told us about the many reasons why this trend is rising in the country and first and foremost is avoiding the labour pains. “It is the question of change in mindset of women. A lot of times, their friends and family persuade them to get a c section. They don’t want to go through the labour pains. They don’t want to have a risk with the baby at all.”

“Today’s career-minded women want everything to happen in time. Their upbringing has completely changed too. How many women exercise today? Our jobs are mostly sitting jobs, we eat a lot of junk food and we hardly go through any pain so in such circumstances labour pain feels like a giant occurrence.”