Taking serious note of the death of a new born child in the Civil Hospital at Jalandhar, Punjab Health and Family Welfare Minister Madan Mohan Mittal on Friday announced that neo-natal care services would be made available free of cost in all government hospitals in the state.

He said no charges would henceforth be levied for neo-natal check-up and newborn care (for a period of 28 days from the date of delivery).

He said no registration fee, 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 would be charged in case of newborn children from the birth to 28 days of age in Punjab government hospitals.

He said delivery-related services were already free in Punjab’s hospitals.

A five-day-old girl died on Wednesday after the life support system was allegedly removed as her father failed to pay a paltry sum of Rs. 200 for treatment in a government hospital in Jalandhar, prompting Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal to order a high-level probe into the matter.

Meanwhile, the state government on Friday suspended with immediate effect a nurse of Jalandhar civil hospital on the recommendation of the enquiry committee, director of health and family welfare department Mr. Karanjeet Singh, who headed the panel, said.