The Delhi government has issued show-cause notices to 89 hospitals and diagnostic centres in Delhi, after the findings of a survey revealed that the sex ratio at birth at these places was significantly lower than the state average. Against a state wide average sex ratio at birth of 896 females for every 1,000 males in Delhi, the errant medical centres furnished records with ratios ranging from a dismal 285:1000 to 788:1000.
The findings of the survey were “alarming”, said Delhi Health Minister Satyandar Jain, adding, “The sex ratio in Delhi is already alarmingly poor. After AAP took charge, we realised that a hospital-based survey on sex ratio at birth had never been conducted in Delhi. The findings of the survey were shocking. I find it very surprising that one centre has a sex ratio of less than 300: 1000. Only 285 girls were born here, for 1,000 boys”.
Declining to name the centres at this stage, Jain said the data had been collected in the last one month.
“We are not disclosing the names of the centres yet because only notices have been issued until now. We will take the next step after we receive their replies and go through them,” said Jain.
The Directorate of Family Welfare examined the records of birth and death registrations of all hospitals and diagnostic centers. If these centres can be targeted to improve their ratios, the average sex ratio of the capital will improve, said the health minister.
“Such a grossly poor sex ratio cannot be a matter of chance. If it were a matter of chance, only one or two such hospitals would be identified. But we have a very big number here,” said Jain.
All hospitals which had a sex ratio below 800: 1000, have been given 10 days to respond to queries about the process of registrations followed by them and whether they are providing facilities for Medical Termination of Pregnancy (MTP).
They have also been asked to furnish the reason behind such such a skewed sex ratio, said sources in the Delhi government.
If the hospitals are not providing facilities under MTP, they have been directed to provide the details of the centres where patents are referred to for MTPs and ultrasonography, said sources.