With a case of doctors and paramedical staff of the civil hospital reportedly taking delivery charges from a woman, the working of health officials has come under scanner.
One Veerpal Kaur had delivered her first child in the Mansa civil hospital on January 31 when she was at her maternal village, Hasanpur, in the district. Following complications, she was operated upon by doctors at the civil hospital and was allegedly made to pay Rs 4,500 after the operation.
The matter came to light when Veerpal Kaur received a cheque for Rs 1,000 under the state government-run Mata Kaushalya scheme. Married in Sangrur district, Veerpal Kaur said, “We were shocked to get a cheque for Rs 1,000 a few days ago even as we had paid Rs 4,500 to a staff nurse for operation after delivery besides spending Rs 700 on medicines and injections.”
“If delivery was free under government scheme why doctors charged us at that time,” Veerpal Kaur asked.
“My husband is a labourer and had borrowed money to pay doctors. I am happy to be blessed with a daughter, but I decided to complain against this practice as other poor patients will also suffer if it is not stopped. Indirectly, the health officials also asked us to keep quiet,” she added.
A similar complaint was lodged last year on the complaint of Soma Rani of Jhunir village, who lodged her complaint with the Mansa civil surgeon. She had alleged that a doctor accompanied by two staff nurses had taken Rs 1,000 for delivery and that she was not provided any money under any scheme.
It may be noted that an amount of Rs 700 is given to woman after the delivery under centrally-sponsored Janani Suraksha Yojana (JSY), which comes under the National Rural Health Mission (NRHM), and Rs 1,000 is given under the Punjab government's Mata Kaushalya Kalyan Yojana. Also, under the state-sponsored scheme Rs 900 is additionally given to a mother who belongs to Scheduled Caste or BPL category.
Even as Mansa civil surgeon Dr Baldev Singh Sahota said a probe has been marked to Dr Ashakiran, the latter expressed ignorance about any such complaint.
The civil surgeon said, “We are investigating the matter thoroughly and the complaint is against an ASHA worker not against a doctor. We will investigate if ASHA worker was a mediator between any doctor and the patient.”