Pregnancy is a period during which women needs extreme care and precaution. However due to lack of medical services in India (especially in the rural areas) the number of maternal and neonatal deaths are high. Here are the key facts as sourced from official Indian government website (https://pmsma.nhp.gov.in/):
- Every year, approximately 44000 women die due to pregnancy related causes and 6.6 lakhs infants die within the first 28 days of birth.
The main reason behind these deaths is the poor quality of healthcare provided to the pregnant women. Because of this many ailments such as anemia, pregnancy related hypertension etc. go undetected leading to death.
Good quality healthcare is very expensive and poor people cannot afford cost related to pregnancy and delivery of baby. Coupled to this, in rural area there is a lack of quality service. Looking at this condition, government of India offers free medical treatment to pregnant women under the name of Pradhan Mantri Surakshit Matritva Abhiyan (PMSMA).
Objective of PMSMA:
- Healthy life to every pregnant women through high quality healthcare service
- Reduce the maternity mortality rate
- Make pregnant women aware of medical problems and diseases arising during pregnancy
- Safe delivery and healthy life to the baby
Free treatments offered to pregnant women under PMSMA:
- Ante-natal checkup would be provided to the pregnant women
- All kinds of medical checkups would be provided at zero cost
- Tests include blood sugar, blood pressure, sugar level, weight, haemoglobin, blood test
- Screening for conditions detected during the tests such as anaemia, pregnancy induced hypertension, gestational diabetes.
- Counselling on diet, sleep, breast feeding, contraceptives, regular ANC check-up
- Lab Investigations include: Hemoglobin, Urine Albumin and Sugar, Malaria, VDRL, HIV, Blood Grouping, Screening for GDM using OGTT etc.
- For pregnant women who are in their 2nd or 3rd trimester will be provided free treatments as listed above.
- Tests are organized on 9th day of every month
- If there is a holiday or Sunday on 9th day, then the treatment would be provided on the next working day
Where can pregnant women avail the free healthcare services?
Services under PMSMA will be provided at government recognized health centers and hospitals.
Additional reading low cost IVF treatment in India.
Who will offer medical treatment?
Government has taken special care in terms of the quality of the doctors. And the treatment would be carried out by expert:
- Medical officer
- OBGY specialist/radiologist/physician who would be supported by doctors from private sector
How to Save money on Pregnancy Expenses – Buy Insurance Policy
Other option to save money on pregnancy related expenses is buying maternity insurance or buying health insurance which cover maternity expenses as well. In India, there are many insurance companies offering maternity insurance, covering maternity expenses which include:
- Pre and post hospitalization including delivery of baby
- Pre and post-natal care
- Ambulance charges
However, if you are covered under group cover then nothing better than that as there is no waiting period. Although there might be a limit on the maternity spend and coverage. But the money saved is very high compared to an exclusive maternity insurance plan.