Govt incentives for child births inadequate: NSO report

Our Bureau New Delhi | Updated on November 26, 2019

Women and children are worst affected by the poor healthcare scenario in the country, says the latest National Statistics Office (NSO) report.

According to the report, the average expenditure that a rural woman incurs on a caesarean section delivery in a private set-up is ₹29,406. In government hospitals in rural areas, women end up paying ₹5,423 if they undergo a caesarean, the report revealed.

Ideally, deliveries in government hospitals should be free of charge as patients and their families spend out of their own pockets for transport, buying drugs and so on, which are unavailable in government set-ups.

Under the Pradhan Mantri Matru Vandana Yojana (PMMVY), Prime Minister Narendra Modi had announced that the mother of the first child would receive ₹6,000 in three tranches, as an incentive for delivering in a hospital.

The NSO report reveals that the incentive is almost as much as the out-of-pocket expenditure that a woman and her family will incur if she undergoes a caesarean section in a government hospital.

In case of a normal delivery, the out-of-pocket expenditure in a government hospital in a rural-set up has been estimated at ₹2,084, and increases over six-fold to ₹12,931 in private hospitals.

According to statistics from the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, of the 2.5 crore women who become pregnant in India annually, close to 1.5 crore are enrolled under the Janani Suraksha Yojana (JSY), which doles out ₹1,400 to the woman as an incentive to take care of the second child. If the NSO estimates of spending are anything to go by, then the out-of-pocket expenditure of a woman and her family for delivery exceeds the modest incentive she receives.

The NSO report reveals that 42. 5 per cent of pregnant women go to private clinics, while 30.1 per cent go to government hospitals, 23.3 per cent to private hospitals and 3 per cent to informal healthcare providers and unqualified quacks for medical care.

Fewer women receive care after the birth of the baby, compared with the before birth period. Eighty-eight per cent of women receive post-natal care, whereas pre-birth (ante-natal) care rate is close to 97 per cent.

Up to 8.1 per cent of all babies born in rural set-ups are non-institutional deliveries that happen without any proper medical care, while this rate reduced to 3.4 per cent in the urban areas.

Only 59.2 per cent children in India are fully immunised in India, with the lowest rates of immunisation found in Assam and Bihar (45 to 49 per cent), while the highest immunisation rates are in Andhra Pradesh, Kerala, Haryana and Telangana (70 to 74 per cent).

Published on November 26, 2019

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