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Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Free services and treatment to pregnant women

A central government programme to provide free services and treatment to pregnant women and newborns will be launched in the state soon.
Besides rolling out the Janani Shishu Suraksha Karyakram (JSSK), the state government has also decided to set up four more hospitals dedicated to women and children at a cost of Rs 96 crore at Ponnanni in Malappuram district, Vaikkom in Kottayam and in Wayanad's Sulthan Batheri, besides one in Thrissur district hospital.
The JSSK would ensure quality post-natal care for women, since most deaths were reported during the postpartum period. It would also provide free treatment to newborns (up to 30 days) in government-run health institutions.
Though most states have already launched the scheme, Kerala started late due to a JSSK provision which mandated the state to provide free transportation facility to pregnant women to and from the hospital.
"Each mother will be given free food, medicine and blood, if required. If case of caesarean, the hospital will bear even the incidental costs. Though all government hospitals do caesarean sessions free of cost, the patient will have to bear many out-of-pocket expenses. The NRHM will bear all such expenses under the JSSK," said NRHM's Kerala director, Dr M Beena.

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