While the number of c-section deliveries in the city is the most in the state, another worrying trend is that more than 60 percent of these c-section births are happening in private hospitals.

This again, is in contrast with the trend in Chennai. In Chennai, the gap between the number of c-section in private hospitals and government hospitals is only 8 percent. In Coimbatore while 64.3 percent of the c-section deliveries are happening in private hospitals, 29.6 percent were carried out in government hospitals. However, in Trichy and Madurai also, the gap between private and government hospitals is wide.

The increase in people's paying capacity and the availability of private insurance cover also contribute to the high number of c-sections in private hospitals. "A c-section can be done for Rs15,000 in a nursing home. So, a middle-class person will opt for a private hospital. Also, most of the major private hospitals are covered under the Muthulakshmi Reddy scheme where the state government provides Rs12,000 for a childbirth," said the chairperson of Safe Motherhood Committee, Federation of Obstetrics and Gynaecological Societies, Dr N Palaniappan.

On the other hand, some doctors feel that the data from government hospitals could be skewed. "There is not enough resources and time for the government hospitals to collect the data. So, the chances are that the data could be skewed," a doctor not willing to be quote said. Officials from the Coimbatore Government Hospital were not available for a comment.

Dr Palaniappan said, "There should be a national audit that will question why a certain delivery was a c-section." He, on the other hand, ruled out the possibility of private hospitals forcing patients into a c-section for money. He said, "Most of the big private hospitals have started charging same amount for c-section as well as normal delivery." – TOI 

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