Chandigarh, 3rd July, 2009 : The Health & Family Welfare Department, Government of Punjab has decided to provide Rs. 200/- for private transportation of pregnant women for deliveries in Government Hospitals. Prof. Laxmi Kanta Chawla, Health & Family Welfare Minister, Punjab here today stated that this initiative has been taken under the National Rural Health Mission (NRHM).
All categories of women i.e. both Rural and Urban would be eligible for grant of Rs. 200/- for the transport. The amount would be paid in the Institution itself at the time of discharge of the mother. This facility has been provided in order to encourage the mothers to approach the Health Institutions for deliveries.
The Minister further stated that Health Department in December, 2008 had waived off the user charges for all deliveries including caesarean in Government Hospitals. The user charges of Rs. 300/- for normal delivery and Rs. 1000/- for caesareans have been withdrawn and the deliveries are being conducted free of cost in the Government Hospitals. She added that the Department has recorded a remarkable 50% increase in the Institutional deliveries in Government Hospitals during 2008-09 as compared to previous year 2007-08.
The Minister appealed to the people, especially the pregnant women to utilize the govt health facilities for deliveries. She exhorted people to stop the practice of deliveries at homes and at hands of unskilled people. The Minister told that increase of institutional deliveries would drastically bring down in Infant Mortality Ratio (IMR) and Maternal Mortality Rate (MMR).