Amaravati: Andhra Pradesh government is all set to provide free medical treatment in private hospitals to those pregnant women in the state, who have white ration cards. They can avail free medical check-ups and can also opt for deliveries in private hospitals under NTR Viadya Seva.

The facility would be available in private hospitals listed under the NTR Viadya Seva launched by Andhra Pradesh chief minister Chandrababu Naidu.

The white ration card is used by people who are below poverty line, but with an annual income of more than Rs 1,00,000.

Special chief secretary, health, medical and family welfare, Poonam Malakondaiah is preparing  the guidelines for the same. These rules would be incorporated into the existing NTR Vaidya Seva to provide necessary facilities to pregnant women.

The plan would reach the District Medical Health Officers (DMHOs) soon. Bills generated from private hospitals (of the people with white ration card), which are linked to the NTR Vaidya Seva services, would be reimbursed by the government.

Before bifurcation of Telangana, NTR Vaidya Seva was known as Aarogyasiri. The name was changed by Chandrababu government after 2014. The concept of white ration card was started by current Telangana chief minister K Chandrashekhar Rao in the United Andhra Pradesh. The scheme mainly concentrated on providing food at nominal rates to the poor.

Currently, pregnant women from poor and middle class families are forced to spend thousands of rupees for medical tests and also for delivery. Private hospitals charge up to Rs 50,000 for delivery. A pregnant woman has to  spend anywhere between Rs 70,000 and Rs 80,000 for medical tests,  medicines and delivery.