The increased number of facilities plus others like services and manpower available at the hospitals run by GCC have played a huge role in making many pregnant women give birth in these hospitals. In the last 3 years, this has gone up by 25%. In Chennai, the total number of deliveries decreased from 85381 in 2019-20 to 82333 in 2021-22.
As per Chennai birth registry data, in 2021 as many as 15270 women gave births at various hospitals belonging to GCC. This was high when compared to 2020 when 10116 women gave birth in the GCC based hospitals in Chennai.
Dr. H.S. Hemalatha, chief medical officer, mentioned that GCC has been taking steps to reduce the number of pregnant women going to the private hospitals in Chennai. In Chennai, now the number of Urban Community Health Centres or UCHC stands at 19. It must be remembered that in 2013-14 in Chennai nearly 465 of the deliveries were conducted in the private hospitals. Truth is that the number of deliveries in GCC hospitals was hovering between 11% and 13%. At present, the number of deliveries in GCC hospitals is at 15%.
In 2022, between the months of April and June, UCHCs recorded 1000 t0 1200 deliveries per month. Out of pocket expenditure on deliveries in a public hospital in Chennai is 3952 when compared to the 3316 in the rest of Tamil Nadu. This was brought out by the 5th edition of the National Family Health Survey. Rs 20000 to one lakh is being spent by a pregnant woman at the private hospitals and it would be based on the treatment and facilities available. Policies have been rolled out by GCC to make sure that those pregnant women who come for the pregnancy tests stay there till labour.
It is true that the health department has made it compulsory for all pregnant women to get registered in Tamil Nadu. Otherwise, it would be very tough to generate birth certificates for the newborns. Within the first semester, 90percent of pregnant women get registered. The pregnant women get encouragement from nurses and doctors at UCHC regarding their anti-natal checkups.