The average cost of child birth includes medical and other costs incurred during the stay in hospital. A research study based on official data, including that of National Sample Survey Office (NSSO) and Social Consumption Survey on Health (SCSH), reveals that “there is a huge difference in cost of child birth between private and public hospitals. It is so across states. At the national level, such a public-private difference is relatively higher in Telangana”.
The research study – Status of Maternal and Child Health in Telangana – was conducted by senior researchers Motkuri Venkatanarayana and Lakhiram Hansda. It was published recently in Munich Personal RePEc Archive. The report points out that the average all-India cost of child delivery in rural areas is 16,698 (private hospitals) and 2,647 (government hospitals) with an average of 6,863. In the case of urban areas, the all-India figures are 21,919 (private) and 3,208 (government hospitals) with 13,039 as the average in private and government hospitals.
But in Telangana, child birth in a private hospital in rural areas costs 22,101 on an average while in government hospitals it costs 2,647. The average cost in both government and private hospitals is 15,083. In urban areas of Telangana, a child birth costs an average of 25,261 in private hospitals and 3,585 in government hospitals. The average cost in private and public hospitals in cities and towns in Telangana is 20,645 as against 13,657 in Andhra Pradesh.
Researchers attribute the higher average cost of child birth in Telangana to higher percentage of child births in private hospitals and higher percentage of C-sections. This is “inevitably accompanied with extra cost of surgical procedures and medicals along with more number of days stayed in hospital per child birth when compared with normal deliveries”.
Quoting NSSO, researchers said the average number of days spent in hospital during child birth is one of the highest in Telangana. “When the average cost of child birth in public and private hospitals is considered, the national average and in Andhra Pradesh is two-thirds of what Telangana spends,” they said.
In case of breastfeeding, the study revealed that only about two-thirds of children below six months in Telangana are exclusively breastfed.