In an act of pre-emption, doctors in Telangana have sought the Health Minister’s intervention to set aside any directions that might require permits to perform caesarean surgeries in private hospitals.

The Indian Medical Association (IMA) informed Health Minister C. Laxma Reddy on Sunday, during a National Doctors’ Day programme, that doctors cannot wait for permits to perform c-sections as the procedure is taken up in emergencies and can be life-saving.

“We have represented to the Health Minister about directions from the Centre which are yet to be implemented in Telangana, but have been received by other States,” said T. Narasinga Reddy president of Telangana’s IMA.

According to the National Family Health Survey 4, Caesarean surgeries constituted 58% of the deliveries in Telangana, the highest for any State in the country during 2015-16.

Private hospitals blamed

Private healthcare is often blamed for increasing rates of C-section procedures in Telangana, while the government maintains its measures to increase natural births by getting more pregnant women to government hospitals is helping cut down the rate.

Doctors have claimed that as part of the Centre’s National Health Protection Mission – Ayushman Bharat Scheme, a C-section can be performed in a private hospital under the scheme only if a government hospital permits it or if a patient is referred from a government hospital. For the past few days, the IMA’s wings in Andhra Pradesh and Telangana, States with high-rates of Caesarean surgeries, have held meetings to discuss the clause.

A senior Telanganan government health official stated that no orders or directions had been received from the Centre.

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