Union Health Minister Ghulam Nabi Azad on Saturday announced a new scheme for pregnant women in the country under which they will get expenses for treatment, transportation and food at least six months before delivery date.
"We have introduced a new scheme for more care and comfort to pregnant women in the country under which the government will take care of her treatment, diagnosis, transport and food at least six to seven months before the delivery and will also cover the new born against all diseases for one year," Azad told reporters here.
Under the Indira Gandhi Matritva Sahyog Yojana (IGMSY) introduced eight years ago, a pregnant woman used to get benefits at the time of delivery, but as per the upgraded scheme, married women will get benefits immediately after conceiving till the time of delivery, he said.
"She will get free treatment during the pregnancy period along with free of cost transport facility from home to hospital and back. The government will take care of her treatment, diagnosis, transport and food for at least six to seven months before the delivery at a government hospital," the Union minister said.
"The whole expenditure will be borne by the union health ministry," he said and expressed hope that the entire country will take benefit of the scheme.
Azad announced 600 new sub-centres for far flung and hilly areas of the state to further strengthen medical facilities to people living in such areas.
"The health ministry has sanctioned 600 new sub-centres for far flung and hilly areas of Jammu and Kashmir to provide better medicare facilities to the people living there," he said.
Azad said his ministry has also started the Urban Health Mission from this year for cities having a population of more than 50,000 people.
"Under the scheme, four cities from Kashmir - Baramulla, Sopore, Srinagar and Anantnag, and three in Jammu region - Kathua, Jammu and Udhampur - are covered. These cities will get money under the scheme for setting up sub-centres or primary health centres," he said.
The health minister said he reviewed the implementation of schemes meant for non-communicable diseases like diabetes, hypertension, cancer and heart problems.
"We had started a pilot project for these diseases two years back and had taken four to five districts from each state.
"Six districts from Jammu and Kashmir were covered under the NCD scheme - three each from Kashmir and Jammu and I am happy that in the three districts of Kashmir, work is going on at all levels like screening, setting up of cardiac wards at district levels and inspection and chemotherapy facilities for those suffering from cancer," he said.
Under the scheme, Azad said the government is providing Rs one lakh per cancer patient for chemotherapy.