To combat the problem of maternal and infant mortality, all pregnant women who avail government facilities for delivery would be soon provided with free nutritious food, treatment, and transportation, according to the Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare.
Not only that, a free healthcare service would also be provided to the newborns. The scheme is to be launched on June 1 and would start from Mewat, Haryana. Under the scheme the government will bear all the expenses for any diagnostic, surgical interventions and diet for seven days post delivery.
The centre would also bear the transportation cost to pregnant women to reach medical centers and to come back home. As of now, transportation facility is provided only for taking pregnant women to the health care facility during emergency or for delivery. States have been asked to ensure provision of free services to pregnant women as well as to sick infants in government health institutions. Also every state would be assigned a toll free number and can be called any time for transport.
The execution of scheme will be funded by NRHM and the discharge of work would also be monitored through the NRHM mechanism.
Due to poor medical facilities and inaccessibility of hospitals, maternal and infant mortality continue to remain high in India. It can be hoped that the proposed scheme will provide good medical care for mother and child. The challenge now is to ensure its effective implementation.