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Two days after a new-born infant died in a Jalandhar hospital after being allegedly removed from an incubator as her parents could not deposit a fee of just Rs.200, the Punjab government announced that all neo-natal services in state government hospitals would be free. "Taking serious note of the unfortunate death of a newborn child in the Civil Hospital at Jalandhar, Health and Family Welfare Minister Madan Mohan Mittal today announced that neo-natal care services would be made available free of cost in government hospitals in the state," a spokesman said here.
He said that henceforth no charges would be levied for neo-natal check-up and newborn care (for a period of 28 days from the date of delivery). No admission fee, visiting fee, ambulance charges, anaesthesia charges or fees for services under the categories of radiology, laboratory investigation, clinical pathology, microbiology, biochemistry and blood transfusion charges would be levied in the case of newborn children, the spokesman added.
Mittal said that delivery-related services were already free in Punjab's hospitals. The parents of the infant girl had alleged that their child died on Wednesday evening after staff at the Jalandhar civil hospital removed her from the incubator as her parents were unable to deposit a fee of Rs.200. The Punjab government ordered a high-level probe into the incident.
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