A paper on maternity care in Mumbai titled “Examining inequalities in uptake of maternal health care and choice of provider in undeserved urban areas of Mumbai, India” says institutional maternity care is the norm in Mumbai.
The odds of a pregnant woman delivering in the private sector, however, increases with maternal education, wealth, age, recent arrival in Mumbai, and Muslim faith. The paper, by researchers from the Institute for Global Health , London, said in Mumbai’s informal settlements, institutional maternity care is the norm. Individuals and families, even in the most disadvantaged groups, choose among health providers in both private and public sectors.
However, socio-economic inequalities limit people’s sphere of access and lead to differential utilisation across groups. Paradoxically, these inequalities make the selection of a suitable provider both more important and more difficult: more accessible practitioners are less likely to be fully qualified or trained, have lower competence and offer poorer quality care.
In all, 3,848 women who had given birth in the preceding two years were interviewed for this paper. It says that the odds of institutional prenatal and delivery care increased with education, economic status, and duration of residence in Mumbai.
Tertiary public hospitals were the commonest site of care, but there was a preference for private hospitals with increasing socio-economic status. Women were more likely to use tertiary public hospitals for delivery if they had fewer children and were Hindu.
The odds of delivery in the private sector increased with maternal education, wealth, age, recent arrival in Mumbai, and Muslim faith.
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