Govt should take stern action against exploitative hospitals: Health experts
icddr,b survey finds rise in C-section cases by 31pc
Health experts on Friday asked the government to take stern action against private hospitals if they perform C-section operations on pregnant women without a valid reason.
They made this comment amid the recent icddr,b analysis that shows that families are spending the highest amount of money for caesarian section deliveries among different child delivery.
The analysis of the report published in The International Journal of Health Planning and Management, includes that C-section deliveries pay an average USD 250 (equivalent to Tk21,121) but normal delivery burden on the pocket is only around USD 60 (equivalent to Tk 5,069) when childbirth takes place in healthcare facilities.
Many health experts said C-sections may be marketed by clinics as the easy way to give birth, but they are not without risks. The procedure scars the womb, which can lead to bleeding, ectopic pregnancies (where the embryo is stuck in the ovaries), as well as still- and premature future births.
Health experts are surprised to see the survey report that said that about 80 percent of deliveries in private facilities are caesarean.
Dr Abdur Razzaque Sarkar, icddr,b associate scientist said the lack of trained staff who can carry out normal deliveries and insufficient manpower at clinics and hospitals is one of major reasons behind this trend.
Talking about this huge burden of money that poor people sometimes are forced to pay, Dr Abdur Razzaque Sarkar said, "No surprise that the wealthiest people spend around USD 280 on C-section but the poorest people spend no less than USD 200 which is a huge burden on their pocket," he added.
"Over 85 per cent families heavily rely on their family fund (including income and savings) to cope with this extra burden which has huge impacts on the livelihood of these households," he adds.
Giving stress on trained staff who can perform normal deliveries to prevent this trend, Dr Abdur Razzaque Sarkar, also the principal author of the study, said availability
of trained staff and educated midwives should be available in the health complexes.
Talking with the Daily Observer about the impact of C-section delivery, Doctor Lelin Chowdhury suggested conducting a broad based long-time research on the bad impact of C-section delivery is needed to know the present status.
He noted that better education, more midwifery-led care and improved labour planning as ways of ensuring that C-sections are only performed when medically necessary, as well as ensuring that women properly understand the risks involved with the procedure.
As indicated by the icddr,b study, cases of such lopsided OOP(out of pocket) cost for C-section deliveries may be rising because C-section rate has gone as high as 31 per cent of all deliveries in Bangladesh in recent years.
This rate is well over WHO standards at 10 to 15 per cent and icddr,b researchers have earlier urged to implement effective national monitoring on C-section deliveries.
The research report shows that mothers aged between 35 and 49 were spending significantly more and surprisingly moms with higher education and who received recommended antenatal services were also among those spending more on C-section, more frequently in urban Bangladesh.
Contacted Health Minister Jahid Malik said the government does everything for the progress of maternal healthcare.
"The Prime Minister has designated nurses and midwives as second class gazetted officers."
Already a total of 1,143 midwives received training and among the number about 1,041 are engaged in providing maternal healthcare services.