Chandigarh: Children of Haryana suffering from congenital heart defect (CHD) are now receiving quality care and surgical services at leading private health care facilities free of cost under the Rashtriya Bal Swashthya Karyakram (RBSK). Stating this here today, Amneet P Kumar, IAS, Mission Director of National Health Mission, Haryana, said Jaipur-based Narayana Hrudayalaya, Fortis Hospital, Mohali, and Gurugram-based Artemis Hospital, had been empanelled for providing the facility of paediatric cardiac surgeries to the children identified with CHD under RBSK. Since January 1, 2017, 156 children suffering from CHD have been given permissions to the tune of Rs 1.75 crore to avail themselves of free of cost treatment at these empanelled hospitals. Out of these, 122 children have already been operated upon in these private hospitals. Ms Kumar said studies from across the globe report a very high incidence of CHD ranging from 8 to 10 per 1,000 live births. Keeping this high incidence of CHD and annual birth cohort in Haryana of approximately 5.5 lakh, there are a large number of children with CHD in Haryana. Many of the babies born with critical CHD pass away in the first year of life and many of the adults who survive with CHD gets inoperable due to development of some complications and have to lead a subnormal quality of life. Under the RBSK program, many children are being identified with CHD but, long waiting period at government tertiary institutions and availability of less government institutions offering such specialized services, have been a major impediment in the way of timely service access. It is expected that with the empanelment of private hospitals, children who are diagnosed with CHD would receive timely access to surgeries. It will be a substantial step in the direction of improving IMR and U5 MR in the state, Ms Kumar said.