After the “uterus removal for money scandal” of Rajasthan, another shameful incident involving gynaecologists has come to light from Kerala. An enquiry has confirmed that to facilitate holiday plans of gynaecologists at a state-run hospital in Alappuzha, Kerala, 21 caesarean sections were performed between April 20 and April 21.
The doctors in the gynaecology department at the Cherthala taluk hospital wanted to be off duty during Easter holidays starting April 22.
The operations were done without taking into account facilities for the post-delivery care of mothers and newborns. Basic factors like bed strength were also ignored.
The issue came out first in the regional media when relatives of some patients complained that women who were allegedly operated upon had to be accommodated on the floor of the post-surgical labour ward as there were no empty beds.
It may be noted here that the incident is reported from the state-run hospital where most of the patients are underprivileged, primarily fishermen and coir workers, who could not question the act of the doctors. Relatives had alleged that some of these cases involved women who could wait till the end of the week for normal delivery.
District medical officer KM Sirabudeen confirmed the allegation and have already recommended suspension of three gynaecologists until further enquiry into the incident.
As per the UN health agency, in India caesarian sections should not exceed 15 per every 100 deliveries. However, the number is as high as 45 in Kerala, according to a public health expert who divulged this information to the media on condition of anonymity.
Interestingly, it was only after the issue became a major controversy and enquiry was ordered, that the hospital arranged beds from other wards for the newborns and their mothers.