Raising concern over unnecessary cesarean deliveries that have reached epidemic proportions in Kashmir, Doctors Association Kashmir (DAK) today said that majority of these surgeries are done for financial gains.
Terming this practice as unethical, President DAK Dr Nisar ul Hassan in a statement said that doctors are motivated by money to perform needless surgical deliveries.
“There is a well-oiled nexus between private hospitals and doctors that is pushing patients into cesareans they don’t need. A perception has been generated that cesareans are better than normal deliveries. In order to convince perfectly healthy women to opt for elective cesarean section before their due date, doctors tell them about so called benefits of the surgery. First time mothers are especially targeted because if a woman has a C-section once, she would need surgeries for subsequent pregnancies”, a statement issued.
DAK said that the Doctors are paid much more money for a surgical procedure than a normal delivery and hospitals rake in money for patients’ longer stay and other related services.
“Birth has become a lucrative business and private hospitals earn up to Rs 50,000 on a cesarean package. A cesarean is less time consuming and more profitable. A doctor would do 12 cesareans in the time it takes to attend one normal delivery. In government hospitals also, surgical births have increased dramatically. To learn the technique, postgraduate students perform cesareans when they are not required”, DAK said.
It said that according to “WHO”, C-sections should only be performed if either the baby’s or mother’s life is in mortal peril.
While WHO states that cesarean delivery rates should be no higher than 10%, but the rates at Kashmir hospitals are as high as 80%.
“Research suggests that unnecessary cesareans are risky for both mother and child. Studies indicate that the chance of maternal mortality is 4-5 times more after an elective cesarean than a normal delivery. In a study published in “BMJ”, Researchers found that cesarean babies were up to 4 times more likely to have respiratory problems”, DAK said.
“The natural birth is the ideal way and if it was better to deliver through the stomach, nature would have surely made it so:, it said.