A government programme providing free maternal and natal health care has deficiencies in implementation, an official report has revealed.
The review report by government's technical support institution, National Health Systems Resource Centre, has pointed out several gaps in the implementation of 'Janani Shishu Suraksha Karyakram'.
The programme, launched on June 1, 2011 with the aim of improving maternal and infant mortality rates of the country, provides free delivery and treatment to pregnant mothers and medical care to newborn babies.
According to the report, the awareness of free entitlements under the programme is still low among its intended beneficiaries and prominent display of the benefits of the scheme is lacking.
The report says that drugs, diet and diagnostics are being provided free to pregnant mothers and ill neonates, but the line listing of the beneficiaries has just started being conducted in many states.
It further points out that the free referral transportfacility for pregnant mothers and ill newborns under the programme has remained weak despite one and half years of the launch of JSSK.
One ambulance has been allocated for one lakh people andin many places, the ambulance service is not that efficient. The report also mentions that no grievance redressal has been institutionalised till now because of which there is no monitoring system to record if people were availing the services.
JSSK entitles all pregnant women delivering in public health institutions to absolutely free and no expense delivery, including Cesarean section. It also provides medical care to ill newborns up to one year. NHSRC reviewed the Janani Sishu Suraksha Karyakram programme during the first quarter of 2013.