Pregnant women to get transport fare to hospitals: Azad

August 3rd, 2011 - 11:06 pm ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, Aug 3 (IANS) As part of its effort to reduce maternal and infant mortality, the government has launched a new scheme for providing transport fare, free medicines and other facilities to pregnant women for delivery in hospitals, Health Minister Ghulam Nabi Azad said Wednesday.

Replying to a discussion on a bill on the Jawaharlal Institute of Post-Graduate Medical Education and Research, Puducherry, the health minister said that it was for the state governments to implement the policy.

The minister informed the Rajya Sabha that under the newly-launched scheme of the health ministry, pregnant women from poor strata of society will get to and fro transport fare to hospitals, free medicines and also free care for the infants.

“The women who have normal delivery will get three-day care and free medicines and those having caesarean will get free blood and other medicines,” Azad said.

“The sick infants will also get free care for one month,” he said.

The health minister added that the government was specially focusing on reducing infant and maternal mortality.

The health minister also said that in a bid to ensure that immunisation is properly administered to all infants, the union government was seeking a detailed list of children who received vaccination, including the names of their parents and phone number.

This, however, irked the opposition members who raised the pitch saying that the poor did not have phone.

The health minister clarified that the provision for giving the phone number included that of relative, neighbour or village.

The health minister was, however, upset at the protest and said the opposition was not interested in knowing the schemes of the health ministry.

The bill was later passed by the house.

The Bill seeks to amend the Jawaharlal Institute of Post Graduate Medical Education and Research, Puducherry Act, 2008, which declared it as an institution of national importance. Before the Act came into force, the institution was operating under the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare.

The Act gives its employees the option of remaining with the autonomous institution or opting out and remaining as a central government employee. The employees had to exercise this option within one year. The Bill extends this period to three and a half years and allows the employees who have already chosen an option to exercise it afresh.

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