The government of Sikkim has launched a number of health schemes for its rural population. The Human Services and Family Welfare Department have various schemes that are specifically targeted at improving the quality of life for pregnant women and newborns. These schemes were developed as a means of controlling maternal and infant deaths during childbirth.
Janani Suraksha Yojana
The Janani Suraksha Yojana is an intervention programme that is targeted at reducing the rates of maternal and infant mortality. The nation-wide scheme is specifically aimed at promoting institutional childbirth among pregnant women in rural areas. Beneficiaries to this scheme are provided with cash incentives for institutional delivery in government hospitals and health centres. For deliveries in Rural Health Centres, beneficiaries receive Rs.1,300 of which Rs.700 goes to the mother and Rs.600 is provided for Accredited Social Health Activist (ASHA) incentive scheme. For women who give birth at home, the mothers are provided Rs.500.
To be eligible to avail the benefits of the scheme, individuals should:
- Be 19 years or older
- Should belong to the Below Poverty Line (BPL) or SC, ST category
- Should have had at least 3 antenatal consultations
- Should have taken an entire course of the Tetanus Toxoid vaccination
Mukhya Mantri Sishu Suraksha Avum Sutkeri Sahayog Yojana
In the state of Sikkim, the scheme was launched by the state government in August 2011 to encourage women to give birth in government hospitals and healthcare centres.
To be eligible to avail the services of this scheme, beneficiaries have to fall under the following categories:
- Pregnant women above the age of 19 years
- Women belonging to the Below Poverty Line (BPL) category
- Women giving birth to their first child at government hospitals and health centres
- Women giving birth to their second (female) child at government hospitals and health centres
The scheme provides cash incentives to the beneficiaries. The beneficiaries receive a one-time grant of Rs.3,000 at the time of delivery. After the initial payment, the beneficiaries receive Rs.500 per month until the child is 6 years old.
Janani-Sishu Suraksha Karyakram
This scheme provides pregnant women free treatment for delivery in government and public health institutions. This includes delivery through Caesarean section as well. Individuals who choose this scheme also receive free transportation from their residence to the health centre. They also receive free transportation from the health centre to their residence 48 hours after delivery.
Treatment also includes free medication diagnostic tests, blood when necessary, and food. The beneficiaries are exempt from paying any kind of user charges. Newborns that are in ill health are also provided with free treatment for one month after birth.
Accredited Social Health Activist (ASHA) incentive scheme
The ASHA scheme refers to a group of health activists that work for the welfare of individuals living in rural areas of Sikkim. Different individuals are assigned to different villages. The role of these activists is to motivate individuals to seek healthcare services offered. The state government provides ASHAs with Rs.3,000 per month.
Mukhya Mantri Jeevan Raksha Kosh Scheme
This scheme provides financial support to individuals apart from the BPL population who are recommended by the State Medical Board. Financial support is provided for individuals who are looking to seek treatment outside the state. The scheme provides financial assistance for the beneficiaries up to a maximum amount of Rs.2 lakh. The scheme provides cashless treatment for those who require it. In order to avail the services, the beneficiaries are required to provide a referral certificate issued by the State Medical Board along with attested copies of the Sikkim Subject Certificate or Certificate of identification.
Mukhya Mantri Shrawan Shakti Samridi Yojana
This scheme is aimed at specifically catering to individuals with hearing impairment by providing them with hearing aids. To avail the service, individuals are required to visit the STNM Hospital - Ear, Nose, and Throat Clinic in Gangtok.
Sikkim State Illness Assistance Fund
This scheme provides financial aid to individuals outside the state living below the poverty line. The scheme provides patients with cashless treatment facilities up to Rs.1.5 lakh. If the treatment sought by the beneficiaries goes beyond the Rs.1.5 lakh limit, funding will be provided by the Central Government. To avail the services, individuals are required to submit a BPL certificate. Cashless treatment can be sought only in government-run hospitals and healthcare facilities.
Chief Minister’s Comprehensive Annual and Total Health Check-up for Healthy Sikkim (CATCH) programme
This scheme was launched to find out the rate of prevalence of diseases suffered by individuals in the state. Additionally, the scheme is also targeting at early detection of diseases and the risk factors associated with them. Furthermore, the government is looking to provide treatment in a timely manner and develop strategies for preventive care.
Hepatitis-B, MMR and other Vaccination Programme
The state of Sikkim was the first state in India to introduce the Hepatitis B vaccination for children in 2001. The state also introduced the MMR vaccination in 2009 to protect children against mumps, measles, and rubella outbreaks. The vaccinations are available at all the healthcare centres and hospitals in the state.
Free and Improved diet for Admitted Patients
Patients from this demographic receive free meals when admitted to STNM and district hospitals. The entire process is outsourced and streamlined and patients are provided with high-quality diet that takes into consideration the required calorie intake and nutritional value. It covers all primary healthcare centres under the scheme.
Free Medicines for MDR and XDR TB
Medication is provided free of cost by the state government for all individuals who suffer from MDR and XDR TB. Individuals who have a valid voter’s ID are eligible to avail the benefits of this scheme.
Iron and Folic Acid and Calcium Supplementation
This scheme was introduced in 2009 to counter the calcium and iron deficiency among pregnant women in the state. Under this scheme, pregnant women and lactating mothers are provided with calcium supplements and iron and folic acid supplements. Under the school programme, Iron and folic acid supplements are distributed to students once in a week. Additionally, students are also given deworming tablets twice in a year.