The state government in a major initiative has announced a health insurance scheme for the workers in the unorganised sector belonging to the BPL category. The scheme,Swasthya Bima Yojana,Gujarat,will benefit the BPL workers and their family members up to five units.
V N Patel,Director Industrial Health and Hygiene Gujarat Government,said: “We will implement the scheme for the construction workers and labourers. Other sectors will be covered subsequently.”
The pilot project will be launched in five districts Bharuch,Dahod,Jamnagar,Kutch and Patan covering around 4.5 lakh BPL families of 42 talukas and over 3,500 villages. The government aims to cover the entire state in the next five years,officials said.
The scheme will provide much needed security against unforeseen health expenditure,cashless health facilities up to Rs 30,000 (on floater basis for the family) as well as cater to medical emergencies. The insurance companies,shortlisted by the Gujarat Government for the insurance cover are ICICI,Reliance,Oriental,New India,Star Health Allied,Cholamandalam,United Insurance.
It may be mentioned that almost one-third of Gujarat’s population (around 1.72 crore) is employed in the unorganised sector. These workers recently saw a ray of hope when the Centre passed the Unorganised Sector Workers Social Security Bill,2008,in the last winter session.
It had directed the state to formulate and notify welfare schemes relating to the provident fund,employment injury benefit,housing,education,skill upgrade,funeral assistance and old age homes.
Another notable provision in the Act is that every unorganised worker will be given a unique social security number and social security cards will also be issued to them.