41 pc of Delhi women deliver at home

41 pc of Delhi women deliver at home

Unhealthy scenario

Government data shows that 41 per cent of live births happen at home. Only 59 per cent of women go to hospitals for delivery, including public and private healthcare centres. Even those who do go to hospitals prefer private ones.

The data also shows women staying at home for delivery is higher among the uneducated. Seventy-five percent of the uneducated give birth at home. The figures can be compared with the statistics of other states that have poorer health infrastructure

In Kerala, no one stays at home for a delivery. In over 99 percent of cases, women -both educated and uneducated - go to hospitals and other healthcare centres. Close to 78 per cent of the uneducated visit a government hospital, while among the educated, 35 per cent visit a government hospital. Delhi is only slightly better than states like Bihar (45), Uttar Pradesh (54), Uttarakhand (42) and Nagaland (70), known for their fragile health infrastructure.

The mismatch between government expenses on health and the quality of service provided to the people can also be judged by other health indicators like immunisation and infant mortality rates. Data on immunisation also shows that the national capital is also lagging behind from its neighbour Haryana. Delhi has 63 per cent of its children immunised, while in Haryana 65 per cent children are immunised. Delhi stands way below southern states like Kerala and Tamil Nadu with 75 and 88 per cent children immunised respectively.

As far as the question of saving infants is concerned, Delhi is far behind many other states

Delhi has an infant mortality rate of 33 per cent, which is not only higher than that of states like Kerala (12) and Goa (11), but also exceeds that of Manipur (16), Tripura (31) and Nagaland (26).

It is alarming that health indicators like these hardly match the infrastructure Delhi boasts of. Delhi spends more on health than other states. Delhi spends about 0.94 per cent of its Gross State Domestic Product (GSDP) which is higher than states like Kerala (0.88), Karnataka (0.87), Gujarat (0.57), Punjab (0.65) Maharashtra (0.55) and others.

Infrastructure-wise also, the State is advantageously placed with one hospital bed per 711 persons against the national average of 2,105 served per government hospital bed. The availability of doctors in Delhi is higher than in other states. Delhi has one government doctor for every 4,000 people. This is number higher than in Kerala, where a government doctor serves 9,000 people. In Maharashtra, one doctor serves a population of 18,000.

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