Hetauda, July 11

Pregnant women visiting government health facilities for regular check-up and for pregnancy tests are entitled to receive 4 ANC (antenatal checkups) as incentives. But, Hetauda Hospital is reported to have withheld such incentives for a long time.

The government has a policy of providing Rs 400 as transportation incentive to pregnant women who visit government health facilities regularly to test their pregnancy. But, Hetauda Hospital has been bilking pregnant women of such allowances for the past six months or so. The hospital, however, is providing allowance of Rs 1,000 meant for women who reach the hospital at the time of delivery.

Hospital chief Dr Kamal Dawadi disavowed any knowledge of the issue, while accountant Madhu Kumar Dhungana cited lack of budget. “As we’re short of budget, we haven’t been able to provide any travel allowances,” he explained.

As per hospital data, 1,026 women gave birth at the hospital from January to July 5 this year. Though all women received safe delivery allowances, not a single woman  received transportation allowance of Rs 400 for completing the full-course of pregnancy tests at government health facilities.

Meanwhile, District Public Health Office Makawanpur chief Ramchandra Pathak said the hospital has already been paid Rs nine million under the safe maternity programme. “The hospital had, in fact, sought additional Rs 4.1 million last month which we were unable to provide as it had not cleared previous accounts,” he said, doubting the rationale of the claim.