Hyderabad: For the first time in Telangana, government maternity care hospitals have started to outperform private speciality hospitals in mother and child care.
In a short span of 18 months, between June 2017 and December 2018, the percentage of pregnant women who prefer deliveries in State-run maternity hospitals has gone up from 31 per cent to 50 per cent in the State.
The dramatic rise in percentage of pregnant women at government maternity hospitals reflect the growing dominance that the State-run healthcare institutions have started to enjoy over private healthcare facilities, in the field of mother and child care.
According to National Family Health Survey (NFHS) 2015-16 data, the total average percentage of institutional births in public facilities in Telangana was 31 per cent, while that in private medical facilities stood at 69 per cent.
By December 2018, however, the percentage of institutional births in public facilities here shot up to 50 per cent and at the same time institutional births in private hospitals went down to 50 per cent.
The big rise in numbers at government hospitals started to happen since June 2017, when the Direct Cash Transfer scheme to pregnant women along with KCR Kits scheme, was launched.
Roughly put, in last 18 months, the birth cohort, which is the number of infants born in a particular period, was close to 9.70 lakh infants in Telangana. During the same period i.e. between June 2017 and December 2018, the number of deliveries that took place in government hospitals in Telangana was close to 5 lakh which is over 50 per cent of the overall birth cohort in the State.
“There is no doubt direct cash transfer and KCR Kits brought pregnant women back to the fold of government hospitals. The initiative provided safe delivery options, decreased the number of unwanted caesarean sections and more importantly saved the lives of mothers,” said former Director of Nizam’s Institute of Medical Sciences (NIMS), Dr L Narendranath.
However, on the flip side, the increase in child deliveries in government facilities has also challenged the medical infrastructure, as the secondary and tertiary maternity hospitals in the State are now burdened with additional work load.