'Death certificates should be clear'

Various programmes of the Government depend on the statistics available

 
District Health Officer Dr N Ramesh Babu inaugurating the training programme on ‘Issual of Death  Certificates.’ Assistant Statistics Officer Arogyaswamy, Dr G Kiran, Dr C Jayaram and Dr C Bapuji are seen. dh PhotoHe was speaking after inaugurating the training programme on ‘Issual of Death Certificates,’ organised by the Department of Statistics of Kolar and Chikkaballapur districts, here on Friday.

It was customary for the Chief Medical Officer of a medical institute to issue death certificate, based on the information given by his fellow doctors. But unfortunately, the reason for death which should be analysed properly and mentioned clearly, was not being done effectively in almost 70 per cent of the hospitals, he said.

Vital document

However, death certificates play a very crucial role in the medical field. The reasons for death are vital in the field of health research. Those health institutes which have more than 20 beds, should make efforts to ensure that the reason for death should be clearly mentioned in the death certificate.

Most of the times, the medical officers do not fill all the columns in the death certificate. They provide half-baked information. And several reasons are attributed for such instances. It is either due to negligence, or work pressure or lack of awareness on part of the officers’ concerned. But in due course, a lot of vital information is lost and the loss is of magnanimous nature, the district health officer added.

Health programmes

Based on the certificate issued by the doctor, the Revenue department officially distributes the death certificates. It collects all the details and statistics of the deaths annually and based on these details, the health programmes are effectively implemented.

It is possible to plan programmes on basic facilities like housing, health, education, etc, based on the death certificates. And in case, the doctors did not mention the reason for death clearly, this will lead to confusion in the data collection. And thus, the Government will be mislead on its programmes and policies, Dr Ramesh Babu added.

In foreign countries, the death certificates clearly mention the reason for death. It is being effectively implemented, but unfortunately, it is not so in our country. It was upto the medical officers to execute their work properly, inspite of all the limitations and drawbacks. They should ensure that they did their work properly despite all the drawbacks, Dr Ramesh Babu said.

At taluk-level also

It was necessary to conduct such programmes at the taluk-level also. Only then can the confusion with regards to the death certificates can be cleared, he said.
He also appealed to all the doctors who have attended the training programme to share the information with other fellow doctors.

Speaking on the occasion, New Delhi’s Census Operation Deputy Director Dr Bapuji said, as there was an increase in the birth rates, similarly, there was also an increase in the death rates. If only appropriate reasons for the death are analysed, only then can the death rates be decreased.

If the reason for the death is ascertained, then it would help in preventing deaths. The death certificates are very essential documents and hence, the doctors should execute their work with utmost care and concern, he added.

Rersource persons

Chairman of the Department of Medical Jurisprudence of Devaraj Urs Medical College Dr G Kiran and Prof Shivshankar were the resource persons, who delivered special lectures on the occasion. Deputy Director of the Directorate of Economics and Statistics C Jayaram, Kolar and Chikkaballapu r districts Statistics Officers Muniyappa and Prabhakar were also present at the workshop.

Assistant Statistics Officer Arogyaswamy compered the programme. V Shankarnarayan from the offic  of the District Health Officer welcomed the guests.

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