Even though the healthcare system of India is going forward due to the various technological advances throughout the medical sector worldwide, we continue to lose thousands of mothers every year due to lack of quality maternity and childbirth care and discordant public and private healthcare system. According to the statistics, every year we lose 32,000 women in India during childbirth due to avoidable complications and lack of awareness about family planning programs. India’s maternal mortality declined by nearly 80 percent over a 25-year period, far above the global average of 44 percent. Nonetheless, we still have to go through a daunting path to reach the SDG 3 goal of less than 70 deaths per 100,000 live births by 2030.

How can the future course of maternity care services in India be safeguarded and the maternal healthcare system be improved.

Making quality care a primary objective

Standardization of quality care during maternity and childbirth is an important step that needs to be taken by the collaboration of the system and government. Private maternity facilities ‘ unregulated nature often results in non-adherence to scientific proof-based quality care practices during childbirth – risking the lives of mothers and newborns.Any person who provides direct care to a mother or her child – whether they are nurses, midwives, paramedics  – need to be trained in safe and compassionate care, as well as basic emergency obstetric procedures to save the life of a mother in the absence of a doctor. Focus should be given on imparting critical lifesaving skills and best practices for safe and respectful care to various health professionals who cater to mothers. Strengthening of midwifery culture as a method to reduce maternal mortality and bring down C-section rates.

Data and technology

Even though there is a cornerstone solution for enhancing quality of care and service delivery, reduce costs, and improve health outcomes. In India, however, we’re still grappling with the problem of reconciling data sharing with patient privacy. There is no legislation or policy to protect patient data. With government guidelines for the private sector that can ensure privacy and security of shared data, healthcare providers will be able to reach that last mile in service delivery and care quality. Technology can be used as a tool to facilitate quality, equity, and last-mile service delivery in healthcare.

Holistic Approach

In addition to reducing maternal and neonatal deaths, a more holistic approach to quality care will significantly improve the quality of their lives.  For this reason, antenatal care, including preconception care, is just as critical as intrapartum treatment–not only medically, but also emotionally and spiritually. Holistic Care also includes access to family planning programs as well as clinical care.  Anaemia and postpartum hemorrhage (the world’s leading cause of maternal death) are primarily caused by insufficient spacing between births. Consequently, access to contraception and safe abortion are crucial in saving lives and ensuring holistic care for mother and child.

Public-Private Collaborations

With maternity care services split almost evenly between government and private facilities, it is important that they work together in the provision of health care services for maternal and childbirth care to improve efficiency and equity. This partnership is significant because it promotes an intrinsic value of quality care — equal access. Without reducing the inequities in access to safe and consistent maternal care, the quality conversation is incomplete.n order to make equal access a reality, two factors are indispensable. One, providing quality and respectful care to all mothers at an affordable cost. And two, ensuring seamless and efficient mechanisms for quicker referrals and better access to transportation, so that women are able to get the care they need, when they need it.