Even after the tragic incident of death of an infant girl in the civil hospital due to inhumane attitude of staff last week, the local health authorities have apparently failed to create awareness over the centrally-funded welfare scheme, Janani Surkasha Yojana (JSY).
While it has come to fore that the higher officials or staff of the civil hospital had no knowledge about the JSY before the infant's death, the health department had not been following guidelines to popularise the scheme among targeted population.
As per the guidelines, it is mandatory for the state or local health department to create mass awareness regarding the scheme by placing flex boards, posters or pamphlets inside and outside the hospital, primary and community health centres.
The guidelines specify that awareness material should be bilingual, including the local language, to make people understand it. The information brochures should also be placed outside the offices of district magistrate and divisional commissioner.
Besides, wall painting in all sub-health centres, primary and community health centres, civil hospital and accredited private institutions should be done to highlight the scheme. The health department should also organise workshops and meetings in villages and at block-level by women group so that public, especially women, can be made aware of the benefits of the scheme.
Moreover, while health facilities should be provided to pregnant mothers, a help desk or grievances committee and a complaint box should also be in place. Information about the names, addresses, email and phone, fax numbers of members of the grievances committee should be available at help desk or highlighted through flex boards. Further, action should be taken within a fixed timeframe and the authorities should inform complainants about it.
It is pertinent to mention here that no flex board, poster or pamphlet have been placed inside or outside the civil hospital. There was not any help desk or complaint box in the gynaecological ward of the hospital.
Moreover, information regarding a notice board mentioning the names, addresses and contact numbers of grievances committee members was also not there.
When contacted, medical superintendent Dr Iqbal Singh admitted that the hospital has failed to create awareness about the scheme and assured that it would make all the arrangements for popularising its benefits. He said the civil hospital, including officials and staff, had no any knowledge about the scheme before the death of the baby girl and none of patients had got benefits under the scheme.
Asked about the grievances committee, he said a committee has been formed to look into the grievances faced by pregnant mothers and their families in the ward.