In JUNE 2011, Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, Government of India launched the Janani-Shishu Suraksha Karyakram (JSSK), a national initiative which entitles all pregnant women delivering in public health institutions to absolutely free and no expense delivery, including caesarean section.
The scheme emphasies utmost importance on “Free Entitlements”. The idea is to eliminate out-of-pocket expenses for both pregnant women and sick neonates. Under this scheme, pregnant women are entitled for free drugs and consumables, free diagnostics, free blood wherever required, and free diet up to 3 days for normal delivery and 7 days for Caesarian section. This initiative also provides for free transport from home to institution, between facilities in case of a referral and drop back home. Similar entitlements have been put in place for all sick newborns accessing public health institutions for treatment till 30 days after birth.
The JSSK initiative is estimated to benefit more than one crore pregnant women and newborns who access public health institutions every year in both urban and rural areas.
India has made considerable progress in reduction of Maternal Mortality Ratio (MMR) and Infant Mortality Rate (IMR), but the pace at which these health indications are declining needs acceleration. The number of institutional deliveries has increased significantly, after the launch of Janani Suraksha Yojna (JSY) in the year 2005 but many of those who opted for institutional deliveries were not willing to stay for 48 hrs, hampering the provisions of essential services both to the mother and neonate. Moreover, the first 48 hours after delivery are critical as complications like haemorrhage, infection, high blood pressure, etc are more likely to develop during this period and unsafe deliveries may result in maternal and infant morbidity or mortality.
Access to mother and child health care services were also hindered by high out of pocket expenses on user charges for OPD, drugs and consumables, diagnostic tests etc. In some cases such as severe anaemia or haemorrhage requiring blood transfusion can also increase immediate expenses. The same becomes still higher in caseC section is being done. So, JSSK has been launched, to ensure that each and every pregnant woman and sick neonates upto one month gets timely access to health care services free of cost and without any out of pocket expenses.