After infant's death over Rs 200, Punjab govt makes neo-natal services free

Two days after a new-born infant died in a Jalandhar hospital after being allegedly removed from an incubator as her parents could not deposit a fee of just Rs 200, the Punjab government yesterday announced that all neo-natal services in state government hospitals would be free.

Health and Family Welfare Minister Madan Mohan Mittal said that henceforth no charges would be levied for neo-natal check-up and newborn care for a period of 28 days from the date of delivery.

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No admission fee, visiting fee, ambulance charges, anaesthesia charges or fees for services under the categories of radiology, laboratory investigation, clinical pathology, microbiology, biochemistry and blood transfusion charges would be levied in the case of newborn children, Mittal added.

The parents of the infant girl had alleged on Thursday that their child died on Wednesday evening after staff at the hospital staff removed her from the incubator as they were unable to deposit the fee. The Punjab government has ordered a high-level probe into the incident.

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