The Ministry of Health and Family Affairs (MoHFW) has said that all insurance claims under the Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Package (PMGKP) will be settled by April 24, 2021. After settlement of claims, it is reported, a new dispensation will be provided to cover the Covid-19 health workers.
Though the Centre is yet to make an official announcement on the scheme, the MoHFW has claimed that it is in talks with New India Assurance insurance company to provide insurance cover to the healthcare workers. In a series of tweets, MoHFW said that the insurance company has paid 287 claims so far. The Ministry added that has played a crucial psychological role in boosting the morale of the health workers fighting.
On March 26, 2020, the Centre announced an insurance scheme for all healthcare workers involved in the fight against the Covid-19 pandemic. The announcement came two days after imposing a nationwide lockdown. The scheme was launched to provide a safety net to health workers. The government said that it wants to ensure that in case of any adversity due to Covid-19, their families are taken care of. The insurance cover has promised Rs 50 lakh to the family of health workers who succumbed to the coronavirus in the line of duty.
Though the MoHFW has said that a new dispensation will be provided for insurance cover, many health workers and unions are angry that the scheme is ending. The timing of the scheme ending is also bad as India reported at least 2,73,810 new Covid-19 cases on Monday. For five straight days, the country has recorded over two lakh cases daily. This is putting more pressure and risks on health workers, who are demanding an extension to the scheme. There have been reports where health workers’ claims have been rejected.