Under the proposed changes to the existing plan, pregnant women can avail free medical check-ups and delivery services at private hospitals linked to the NTR Vaidya Seva.

AP govt to provide free medical services to pregnant women under NTR Vaidya Seva
news Health Sunday, December 02, 2018 - 17:05

The Andhra Pradesh government is planning to provide free medical services to all pregnant women in the state under the NTR Vaidya Seva Scheme, the flagship healthcare programme of the state. As part of this plan, all pregnant women in the state, falling under families holding white ration cards, may undergo free medical services in private hospitals. They will also be entitled to free medical check-ups and deliveries in private hospitals linked to the NTR Vaidya Seva.

Special Chief Secretary, Health Medical and Family Welfare, Poonam Malakondaiah is planning the new guidelines, which will be incorporated into the existing NTR Vaidya Seva. The updated plan will be released to the District Medical Health Officers (DMHOs) soon. Bills from private hospitals, which are linked to the NTR Vaidya Seva services, will be reimbursed by the government.

Speaking to TNM, Guntur DMHO Dr J Yasmin said, “It has been a decision of the government to extend the NTR Vaidya Seva scheme to include these services for pregnant women. For the benefit of pregnant women from poor families, the government is planning to incorporate free deliveries also, but at present, we are yet to receive the official order. Once the government order comes in, we will proceed accordingly.”

NTR Vaidya Seva Scheme was originally called ‘Aarogyasri’ under the united Andhra Pradesh. The name of the scheme was changed by the government of Andhra Pradesh after the formation of Telangana. Under the scheme, Below Poverty Line (BPL) families with a white ration card, which is linked to the Aadhaar number, are entitled to the benefits. The white ration card was a concept introduced by Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao to ensure that no poor person would be unable to afford food.

The middle class and BPL families end up shelling out thousands of rupees for medical tests for pregnant women and for deliveries as well. In private hospitals, these expenses may amount anywhere up to Rs 80,000 or sometimes more. Keeping this in mind, the state government now plans to incorporate free medical services and deliveries for pregnant women from such families.

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