The Centre will provide free pre-natal health care and ambulance facilities to pregnant women across the country, Union Health Minister Ghulam Nabi Azad announced today.
Under the Janani Suraksha Yojna (JSY) scheme pregnant women are provided free medical treatment during the delivery and post natal care. In addition to this, the minister said pregnant women will be given "free medical and ambulance facilities" from conception to delivery.
They will also be able to avail free consultation from doctors at government hospitals for 45 days from delivery and infants will be given free treatment at the hospitals for one year, Azad said at a press conference.
The minister said adolescent children (16 years and above) will be provided weekly supplements of iron and Folic Acid to prevent anaemic diseases in children.
In February this year, Congress President Sonia Gandhi had launched 'Rashtriya Bal Suraksha Karyakram' providing free medical care and diagnostic tests to children from class one to 12, he said.
For better awareness of available medical care programmes, facilities and doctors, the government has bought slots with Doordarshan and All India Radio, where interactive sessions with speciality and super-speciality doctors were broadcast five days in a week for an hour, the minister said.
Noting that the new doctors are reluctant to join their first posting in rural areas, Azad said, the Health Ministry was contemplating to include 'internship' of MBBS students with rural postings, and a salary benefit of Rs 20,000 extra under National Rural Health Mission (NRHM) to those posted in rural areas.