The government has extended the Rs 50 lakh insurance scheme for about 22 lakh healthcare providers for another three months till September as there is no respite from COVID-19 pandemic.
The scheme implemented by New India Assurance was to end on June 30, 2020, as per the announcement made by Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman as part of the Rs 1.70 lakh Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan package in March.
The insurance provides a comprehensive personal accident cover of Rs 50 lakh to a total of around 22.12 lakh public healthcare providers, including community health workers, who may have to be in direct contact and care of patients suffering from coronavirus infection and who may be at risk of being impacted by this.
Insurance schemes for health workers in government hospitals and healthcare centres operationalised with effect from March 30, 2020, an official statement said, adding the scheme has been extended up to September.
The scheme is funded through the National Disaster Response Fund, operated by the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare.
Doctors, nurses, paramedics, sanitation workers and a few others working in hospitals under the central and state governments will be covered under the insurance scheme.
The NIA has already paid six claims ,within 48 hours of receiving the clam documents and is currently processing another 30 odd eligible claims under the scheme.
However, the insurance cover despite being a well-publicised scheme, awareness of the same appearsto be little amongst some of State Nodal Agencies as a substantial number of some 75 claims, lodged till date are outside the purview of the policy on account of either the deceased not being a health worker or the deceased having died of other than corona related ailments, said Atul Sahay CMD, NIA.
“The claim process requires simple documents, duly verified by the respective state government Authorities. All the claims where documentation was complete were released by us within two working days of such compliance.We expect that we will be able to receive necessary documentations in the remaining 30 odd eligible claims so far during this weak and we intend to dispose of the claims during the week itself,''said Sahay..
While announcing the scheme, the finance minister had said, safai karamcharis, ward-boys, nurses, ASHA workers, paramedics, technicians, doctors and specialists and other health workers would be covered by the special insurance scheme.
“Any health professional, who while treating COVID-19 patients, met with some accident, then he/she would be compensated with an amount of Rs 50 lakh under the scheme,” she had said.
All government health centres, wellness centres and hospitals of the Centre, as well as states, would be covered under this scheme, she had said.