News Desk : dhakamirror.com
The High Court on Thursday asked the government to take steps to make it compulsory to follow the relevant guidelines for the prevention of performing unnecessary caesarean section surgery at government and private hospitals and clinics.
The court has also directed the government to widely circulate the guidelines within six months.
The bench in the verdict declared performing unnecessary C-section delivery illegal.
A bench of Justice Naima Haider and Justice Kazi Zinat Hoque delivered the verdict after disposing of a writ petition filed by Bangladesh Legal Aid and Services Trust in 2019.
The court said that the guideline formulated by the health ministry in November 2019 under the title ‘Bangladesh National Guidelines and Technical Standards and Operating Procedure for Promotion of Normal Vaginal Delivery (NVD), Prevention of Unnecessary Caesarean Section, Creating Awareness about Necessity and Justification of Caesarean Section’ became a part of its judgment.
The guideline recommended developing and launching a national campaign to raise awareness of harmful effects of unnecessary C-section and importance of necessary C-section.
The guideline suggested to enhance NVD skills and competencies of delivery care practitioners and to review existing law, rules, and procedures to identify weaknesses and propose modification to ensure rights of patients, care seekers, and healthcare providers.
It said that posting of certified midwives and maintaining a functional standard labour room should be made mandatory for private hospitals or clinics providing delivery care.
BLAST’ lawyer Rashna Imam later told reporters that all the authorities concerned of health ministry, directorate of health services, Bangladesh Medical and Dental Council, hospitals, and doctors were bound to follow the guideline.
She said that unnecessary C-section could be reduced if the guidelines were followed properly.
Although BMDC authorised to regulate and inspect all the hospitals and clinics for their wrongdoings but they did not perform their duties, she added.
The BLAST filed the writ petition referring to the reports carried out by World Health Organisation and UNICEF stating that about 77 per cent of the caesarean sections that took place in Bangladesh in 2018 were unnecessary.
Besides, caesarean sections increased by 51 per cent between 2016 and 2018, BLAST quoted the report.
BLAST said that about 95 per cent of the income at private clinics came from caesarean sections which were being done without any proper consultation.
If the current trend continues, it might lead the country to a serious health hazard, it stated.
BLAST said that no step had yet been taken by the government to monitor such practices of the doctors, private clinics and hospitals.
Deputy attorney general Amit Das Gupta said that the landmark verdict paved for another step to empower women’s rights.