When Loretta Selvakumar was expecting her first child in 1994, she was elated. But nine months later, when she delivered a healthy baby boy in a government hospital in Bangalore, his life was cruelly cut short after he slipped off a table. She promised herself that no matter how costly, her next delivery would be at a private hospital with better care.
Selvakumar has since had three children, all born in a private hospital. But even though the number of private hospitals has gone up dramatically since 1994, the differential cost to deliver a baby at a government hospital versus a private one has gone up exponentially.
The rising costs are a significant reason why India has the highest number of maternal deaths in the world at 56,000 a year, or one every 10 minutes.
This was something M Ayyappan, chairman & managing director, HLL Lifecare Limited, observed on his many visits across the country. He says, "I've seen the real face of India; like in Uttar Pradesh, I've seen young girls at 16-17 deliver 5-6 children and still carrying." It was a good thing too that this issue caught Ayyappan's eye because he decided to do something about it....more
06:02 PM, Aug 09, 2012