Odisha Sun Times Bureau
Cuttack, Mar 5:
Odisha High Court on Wednesday served notices to state and Union governments for deteriorating healthcare facilities in the state owing to increase in infant and maternity mortality rates.
Hearing a PIL, a division bench comprising Acting Chief Justice Pradeep Mohanty and Justice Biswajit Mohanty served notices to Odisha chief secretary, state and Union Health and Family Welfare department secretaries, Union Women and Child Welfare department secretary; Chief District Medical Officers (CDMO) of Bolangir and Kandhamal.
The petitioner Shankar Prasad Panigrahi from Radharani Pada in Bolangir stated that people across the state, especially pregnant women and new-borns, are not getting the benefits of healthcare facilities, despite the Centre having launched several schemes.
The falling health facilities have resulted in increase in infant and maternal mortality rates in the state. Maternal mortality rate (MMR) in the state is a matter of greater concern as it stands at a high of 237 per 1,00,000 live births compared to national figure of 178. The infant mortality rate (IMR) in Odisha was 53 per 1,000 live births against national average of 42. The steps taken by the state government to reduce IMR and MMR are not encouraging, the petitioner contended.
Besides, the state government-run medical facilities lack adequate infrastructure and staff and the healthcare schemes—National Rural Healthcare Mission (NRHM), Jananai Suraksha Yojna, Mamata scheme are not being implemented properly following which the beneficiaries are deprived of the facilities, he stated.
In view of this, the petitioner urged the court for proper implementation of NRHM and extension of Mamata scheme to its beneficiaries.
The next hearing has been posted to March 18.