Private hospitals disqualified from birth scheme in Madhya Pradesh

March 18th, 2010 - 1:34 pm ICT by IANS  

By Sanjay Sharma
Bhopal, March 18 (IANS) Madhya Pradesh has disqualified private hospitals from a scheme to promote institutional deliveries - as opposed to births at home - after the World Health Organisation (WHO) found they were encouraging caesarean operations for financial gains.

“While the private hospitals have been informed that they wouldn’t be paid for the deliveries any more, the scheme would continue in government hospitals,” said Health Director A.N. Mittal.

The government had in 2008 launched the Janani Suraksha Yojana (JSY scheme) with an aim to reduce the high maternal mortality rate in the state, which at that time was 498 deaths per 100,000 births. Under the scheme, families were urged to avoid home deliveries and go for institutional deliveries. For this, BPL beneficiaries were given an incentive of Rs.1,400 in rural areas and Rs.1,000 in urban areas.

Health volunteers who encouraged women to have institutional deliveries were also paid an honorarium of Rs.400 per case.

After the introduction of the scheme, the maternal mortality rate came down to 335 deaths per 100,000 births. The scheme’s popularity forced the government to engage private clinics as government hospitals could not cope with the rush.

The provisions of the scheme envisaged a payment of Rs.1,200 for each normal delivery to accredited private hospitals while a C-section operation fetched Rs.5,500 per case.

“Since a caesarean delivery fetched more than four times payment as compared to a normal delivery, private hospitals lay more stress on it to make more money,” a health department official told IANS on condition of anonymity.

Around 40 hospitals accredited with the government under the Janani Suraksha Yojana performed 265 C-section deliveries against 307 normal deliveries between April 2009 and December 2009, he said.

The WHO recently criticised the phenomenon, saying: “No region in the world can justify more than 10-15 caesarean deliveries per 100 births. But in Madhya Pradesh, the JSY — the government scheme for expecting mothers — saw that in nine months, nearly one in two underwent C-sections when they enrolled in accredited private clinics.”

Following criticism, the government disqualified private hospitals from being part of the scheme.

(Sanjay Sharma can be contacted at sanjay.s@ians.in)

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