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Institutional deliveries
Punjab govt defaults on payment to 40,000 mothers
Sarbjit Dhaliwal
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 15
The failure of the Punjab Government to give incentive money to 40,000 women who delivered babies in civil hospitals is likely to hit the programme launched to promote deliveries in medical institutions.

Official sources said that the state government hasn’t made any payment in this regard since November.

The state government has to pay Rs 1,000 as incentive to every woman who delivers her baby in a government hospital. Besides this amount, Rs 500 are given by the Centre under the National Rural Health Mission.

The Tamil Nadu Government pays Rs 3,000 in addition to the Rs 500 given by the Centre. In under-developed states like Odisha and Bihar, the Centre gives Rs 1,400 for each institutional delivery.

“The Centre has been making payments on a regular basis, but the state government has defaulted in this regard,” said a senior official. “About Rs 4 crore is due to be paid by the state government to these mothers.”

As a result of the incentive scheme, the number of deliveries in civil hospitals has increased considerably. The positive outcome is that infant mortality rate (IMR) in the state has reduced considerably.

In 2007-08, only 44,485 deliveries took place in civil hospitals. However, the number has gone up to 1,21,474 - till December-end in this fiscal year. Of the expected 4,75,000 births in the state during the current fiscal year, 34 per cent deliveries will be in civil hospitals if the trend continues.

The IMR in the state fell to 34 per 1,000 against the national average of 47 in 2010. It is likely to fall further to 30 in 2011. “We are likely to get a special grant of Rs 90 crore from the Centre for reducing the IMR,” said Satish Chandra, Principal Secretary, Health.





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