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It’s not quite safe to deliver babies in govt hospitals of Karnataka

Imagine a doctor who is not specialised in gynaecology handling maternity-related cases. Believe it or not, this is what is happening in most government hospitals in the city.

A majority of government hospitals in the state have no gynaecologists and general doctors handle delivery cases, putting at risk the lives of many women.

According to official sources in the National Rural Health Mission (NRHM), out of 325 government taluk hospitals, only 145 are capable of conducting safe delivery.

Officials in the NRHM say that the main reason behind the increasing rate in maternal mortality is delivery cases handle by doctors without specialisation.

“It is the main cause for the increasing rate in maternal mortality, especially in rural parts of the state. Some doctors take the chance of conducting the delivery, but when they realise that normal delivery is not possible, they refer the case to district hospitals.

When they refer the case to other hospitals in the last minute, both the mother and baby’s life is put at risk,” said an official.

“The problem is not just the shortage of specialists; doctors are not coming forward to serve at remote places and that has become a big problem now,” said the NRHM official.

General doctors can handle normal delivery, but doctors with specialisation in gynaecology are needed in case of caesarean section, the official said.

A survey conducted by the Union health ministry, three years ago, found the maternal mortality to be 153.

“That was the last survey conducted and we have decided to control that. By 2015, we want to reduce it to 100. We are taking necessary actions to reach the target,” said S Selva Kumar, director, NRHM, Karnataka.

To overcome the shortage of gynaecologists in taluk level government hospitals, the NRHM is training general MBBS doctors for five to six months. “We are targeting to provide specialised doctors to at least one taluk hospitals within 30 km. Our mission is to provide quality health facilities across the state and we will meet that.” said Kumar. Read from the publisher

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