In the decade to 2014, the change in percentage of children born in government hospitals was higher in both rural and urban areas compared with those born in private hospitals, according to an IndiaSpend analysis of data from National Sample Survey Office, India’s official socio-economic surveyor.
Higher institutional deliveries reduce maternal and neonatal deaths caused by lack of essential care, drugs and equipment during labour and delivery in at-home births.
In rural India, 56% of children were born in government hospitals in 2014, up 38 percentage points from 18% in 2004. For private hospitals, the share rose by seven percentage points to 24% in 2014 from 17% in 2004.
In urban India, 42% of women gave birth in government hospitals, up 11 percentage points from 31% in 2004. For private hospitals, the share rose by five percentage points to 48% in 2014 from 43% in 2004.
The share of children born at home fell by 45 percentage points in rural India in the decade against 15 percentage points in urban India. The rural rate is much faster as the share of at-home childbirth is much higher in rural areas compared with urban ones.
(Vivek is an analyst with IndiaSpend.)