IN THE ASSEMBLY
Hyderabad: Members in the Telangana Assembly have expressed serious concern over some private hospitals forcing pregnant women to undergo caesarean delivery and wanted the State government to initiate firm action against such hospitals.
The unscrupulous methods being adopted by some private hospitals for caesarian delivery figured in the House during Question Hour on Tuesday when BJP member G. Kishen Reddy expressed concern over the increasing number of caesarean births in private hospitals. He urged the State government to probe into this and take immediate remedial measures.
Health Minister C. Lakshma Reddy agreed that caesarean operations were on the increase and the government was taking all steps to prevent unwanted surgeries. Instructions were issued to medical authorities to keep a tab on the number of such operations being performed in private hospitals. As a matter of fact, the State government was encouraging institutional deliveries by ensuring that pregnant women go to government hospitals rather than to private hospitals, he observed.
Replying to the main question of Gongadi Sunitha, Ajmeera Rekha and Kova Laxmi, the Health Minister said the State government had launched Amma Vodi Scheme (102 Vehicles) to shift pregnant women to hospital and back home after delivery. The 102 Referral Transport Service was initially launched in tribal and remote areas and would be made available for the entire State in due course, he said.
Members from both treasury and opposition benches complained about lack of doctors and other infrastructure facilities in government hospitals, especially in tribal and girijan areas. They urged the government to increase the number of 102 services in remote places. The members also demanded that the State government should consider giving incentives to women before and after delivery as was being done in Tamil Nadu where each woman is paid Rs 12,000 after delivery.
The Health Minister said necessary allocations would be made in the next budget for providing the required incentives. He also said the government had sent a report to the Union government for enhancing salaries of midwives and Asha workers.
In reply to another question, the Health Minister said as a policy, the State government has decided to upgrade one hospital in each district headquarters as per the needs and feasibility.
Toddy tapping to be mechanized
Replying to a question, Excise Minister Padma Rao said the State government would soon provide required mechanized equipment for toddy tappers for climbing trees, as was being done in Kerala State, to avoid accidents.
The government had already increased the present ex gratia amount from Rs 2 lakhs to Rs 5 lakhs and this would be implemented at the earliest, the minister said adding there were 87 toddy shops under the GHMC limits benefiting 2,855 tappers.
Padma Rao stated that as directed by the Chief Minister, steps had been taken to plant 54 lakh palm saplings this year. Steps would be taken to plant another two crore trees next year and another five crore trees the year after that. As regards complaints from members about chopping of palm trees in some areas, the minister said some pattedars are cutting the trees in their lands and the government was trying to persuade them to see that this was avoided in the overall interest of the toddy tappers, whose livelihood is depended on the trees.
Pathetic Pension Payment Office
The dilapidated and unhygienic conditions prevailing in the Pension Payment Office at Nampally and problems being faced by the aged pensioners for submitting Life Certificates every year was highlighted during the Question Hour .
TRS member KP Vivekanand pointed out that many aged pensioners were not able to climb to the second and third floors of the Pension Payment Office at Nampally due to their age and also because of ill-health. Added to their woes, there is no lift facility in the building. He urged the government to shift the office from the top floor to the ground floor.
The TRS member also informed the House that due to health and other reasons, the pensioners at times were not able to submit their Life Certificates every year. Submission of these certificates at the nearest Mee Seva centres should be considered. Congress member Jeevan Reddy wanted the government to consider submission of these certificates using biometric or thumb impressions at the post offices or police stations.
Finance Minister Etela Rajender said the government would consider taking necessary steps for improving the conditions in the Pension Payment Office Nampally and also about shifting the offices to the ground floor based on the availability of space. As regards submitting of Life Certificates, online portal could be used, he suggested. -NSS