The scheme, particularly for pregnant women below poverty line (BPL) and socially backward classes, offers transportation facility from the women’s homes to the nearest hospital or dispensary and back home. The women will also receive free medication and food for three days. The scheme is currently available for women in rural areas, but will shortly be available in urban areas. All municipal corporations, including the Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC) and Pimpri-Chinchwad Municipal Corporation (PCMC) have been asked to submit their yearly budget.
Dr S T Pardeshi, chief medical officer, PMC said that the scheme was earlier implemented only in rural areas, but now women from urban slums will also benefit.
“We have submitted our monthly budget three months ago and are expecting the scheme to be launched after the upcoming state budgetary session.
“On an average, every year around seven thousand deliveries are witnessed in PMC hospitals and state-run dispensaries. The cost of transportation, food and medication amounts to approximately Rs 500 per patient, taking the total budget to Rs 35 lakh,” Medical Officer (City Family Welfare Office) Dr Anjali Sabane said.
She added that the scheme will promote institutional delivery in urban areas and decrease the maternal and infant mortality rate, and cases similar to the recent one at Kamala Nehru hospital can be avoided.
“Women living in slum areas can call the PMC run dispensaries anytime and an ambulance will be sent immediately to their residence to ferry them to the nearest hospital. As soon as the scheme is launched, the message will be forwarded to the prospective beneficiaries,” said nodal officer of Reproductive Child Health Dr Sanjeev Wavre.