Centrally sponsored scheme for expecting mothers turns damp squib

Patients ‘denied’ benefits under NHM at JLNM hospital

MUDASIR YAQOOB
Srinagar, Publish Date: Feb 19 2018 10:31PM | Updated Date: Feb 19 2018 10:31PM
Centrally sponsored scheme for expecting mothers turns damp squib

A group of patients visiting JLNM Hospital at Rainawari here alleged that authorities are denying them various benefits under the centrally sponsored scheme ‘Janani Shishu Shuraksha Karikaram’ (JSSK).

Under JSSK, the expecting mothers are entitled to free medical treatment and other various facilities including free medicines, medical investigations, blood point and its transfusion, transportation and food.  

The amount to meet these all expenses of expecting mothers is released by government of India to state government which is later on disbursed in different hospital. 

“There is nothing free. Doctors write prescriptions and hospital authorities are asking us to purchase medicines from market. The medical tests prescribed by doctors at hospital are also not done here. Even the doctors ask us to do these reports at particular private clinic of their own choice,” said one of the expecting mothers, wishing not to be named. This group of women claimed to have their routine check-up at JLNM hospital under the centrally sponsored scheme which entitles them for all free services and benefits. The other scheme includes Janani Suraksha Yojna (JSK).

“I was asked to undergo the medical test which costs Rs 5000 in market. The doctor gave the details of the particular private clinic and asked me to get it done there only. When I asked hospital authorities if the tests facility was not available under centrally sponsored schemes free to pregnant women, they said they have no such facility at hospital,” she added.

 A group of patients alleged that “in the name of free services, the hospital authorities are forcing pregnant women to purchase everything from market, from medicines to medical tests.”

The pick-and-drop facility offered under JSSK is also not made available to the patients post delivery.

“Under the JSSK scheme, the hospital is supposed to provide transport to us. But we don’t get it. We have to take home our patients, including the ones who have undergone cesareans, using uncomfortable public transport,” they said.

“We have to pay for deliveries as well. The midwives and nursing orderlies don’t handover the babies to us till you pay them. They compel us to pay them,” they added.

They alleged that the pregnant women pre and post surgery are forced to use stairs while the lifts of hospital are defunct.

“We have to walk on around 100 steps of stair for going up or down for different medical formalities at the expected date of delivery. It causes immense inconvenience as lifts of the hospital is defunct from past several years,” they said.

JSSK is aimed at a safe motherhood intervention under the National Health Mission (NRH) being implemented with the objective of reducing maternal and neo-natal mortality by promoting institutional delivery among the poor pregnant women.

The free entitlements for pregnant women under the scheme include free and cashless delivery, free C-Section, free drugs and consumables, free diagnostics, free diet during stay in the health institutions, free provision of blood, exemption from user charges, free transport from home to health institutions, free transport between facilities in case of referral, free drop back from Institutions to home after 48 hour stay.

The scheme also entitles the new born for free treatment till thirty days after his birth. The free entitlements include free drugs and consumables, free diagnostics, free provision of blood, exemption from user charges, free transport from home to health institutions, free Transport between facilities in case of referral and free drop back from Institutions to home.

Medical superintendent JLNM hospital said that free medicines like iron tablets are provided free of cost to the pregnant women. “If there are some complicacies, the patients have to purchase medicines for that from market,” he claimed. However, he assured that he would look into other complaints.

 

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