MUMBAI: A committee headed by Maharashtra health department's principal secretary will conduct a probe into several cases of hysterectomies that have come to light in Beed district, state health minister Eknath Shinde said on Tuesday.
Raising the issue in the state Legislative Council, Shiv Sena member Neelam Gorhe said some women engaged in sugarcane cutting work in Beed got their wombs removed to avoid hindrance in work and fines due to menstruation.
Responding to her, Shinde said in the House that around 4,605 women underwent womb removal surgeries in Beed district in last three years.
"A committee headed by Beed district's civil surgeon found that 99 private hospitals carried out 4,605 womb removal surgeries from 2016-17 to 2018-19," he said.
He said a sizable number of women who underwent hysterectomy were not engaged in sugarcane cutting work. The minister also pointed out that the percentage of natural deliveries was higher than the cesarean ones in the district.
He said a committee, headed by state public health department's principal secretary and comprising three gynecologist's and also some representatives of women MLAs, has been asked to submit its fact-finding report in two months on the hysterectomies in Beed, Shinde said The state government has instructed all surgeons not to carry out any womb removal surgery unnecessarily, he added.
The National Commission for Women in April issued a notice to the state chief secretary after a news report said women were getting their wombs removed to avoid hindrance in work and fines due to menstruation.
The commission had said it was seriously concerned about the pathetic and miserable condition of such women and the crimes and atrocities being perpetrated on them.
The news report stated that many women in Beed had hysterectomies as it was a "norm" in villages to remove the uterus after having two to three children as the menstrual periods hinder work and attract fines.