Mahalaksmi Free Transport leading to Free Healthcare Survey

Hyderabad, 06th January 2024: Two of the six guarantees launched by the new Congress government and Mahalakshmi Free Bus travel for women has not only increased foot falls in RTC buses but is also having other benefits for women, a recent survey done by Helping Hand Foundation (HHF, a leading Public Health NGO) is any indicator. The volunteers of HHF carried the survey over the last 2 weeks across multiple government health facilities mostly south of the city.

Below are the findings.

Pre-announcement of the Mahalakshmi Free Bus Service.

–      Out of the sample surveyed 52% of the Women, mostly from Old city said that they used bus travel before the scheme was launched.

Post announcement of the Mahalakshmi Free Bus Service.

–      After the Mahalakshmi Free Bus Service introduced by the new Congress Government bus travel increased from 52% to 81% (in the sample surveyed), i.e. an increase of 31%. 

Link between Free Bus Service and Health-Twin Benefit.

–      In the gross increase of 31%, nearly hal f or 15% women are now using the free Bus Services to access free Public Health Facilities, hitherto to unutilized.

–      Majority of the women interviewed were from Old city.

–      In other words, outpatient footfall in the Government Hospitals, Area Hospitals, Primary Health Centres increased between 10 to 15% in the sample surveyed.

–      It was observed that 71% women travelled for OPD consultation and 18% for Antenatal Care and 11% for other reasons to Hospitals.

–      70% of travellers used free bus service two ways while visiting hospitals and 30% used it only one way.

–      33% women travelled from long distances > 25km to access Government Hospitals.

–      Travel from districts also showed an uptick in numbers.

–      All said the key motivation to utilize free bus services was to get free medicines, Antenatal Care, and lab tests in Public Health Facilities.

Out of Pocket Expenses Saved:

–      35% of the women surveyed said that they are saving above Rs 1000, availing the twin benefits of free Transportation and free Health Care.

–      52% said they save between 500 to 1000 rupees per visit.

–      Twin benefit Savings from Free transport and health care will potentially improve other social indices of the marginalised women & their families.

–      60% of women said the savings will help them pay the school fees of children and 28% said it will improve their food security & the rest said it will help them in other ways. 

Other relevant issues:

–      Women complain about frequent bus services and extended waiting time in certain sectors.

–      Overcrowding and Inconvenience for senior citizens

Sample size

–      3530 Women were interviewed randomly in the last 15 days.

Survey Covered Following Hospitals:

–      Osmania General Hospital, Gandhi General Hospital, Modern Govt. Maternity Hospital, Govt. ENT Hospital, Nizam Institute of Medical Sciences, District Hospital, King Koti, Area Hospital Malakpet, Community Health Centre, Barkas CHC, Primary Health Centre, Jangamet & Primary Health Centre Balapur.

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