INSURANCE CLAIMS of as many as 63 families out of 82 health care workers who died fighting the Covid-19 pandemic are yet to be processed for want of necessary paperwork. All health care workers — estimated at 22.12 lakh — were provided a cover of Rs 50 lakh under the Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Yojana.
The Union Health Ministry on Friday flagged this as an issue of concern during a videoconference with states over Covid-19 response. “States have been asked to send the paperwork for these 63 health care workers by July 14 for early processing of insurance claims,” the source said.
While claims of 19 health care workers who died have been processed and cleared so far, the paperwork for 63 others including doctors and nurses, had not been received by the Union health and family welfare ministry yet, said sources. “State governments have not submitted the required documents,” an official source said.
The highest number of pending claims is from Maharashtra (25 of 63), followed by Delhi (11). Gujarat, Tamil Nadu, Rajasthan and Telangana are yet to submit full documents for four health care workers each who died during the course of their Covid-19 duty, the sources said.
Some state government representatives said families were under shock and this had resulted in they completing their documentation. The health ministry, however, told states that delay during such times would send a bad signal to health care workers.
“States do not realise how such delays can set a bad precedent for health care workers on the frontline. Today, they were advised to pay special attention to the families on compassionate grounds,” said the source.
Incidentally, these numbers do not include police personnel who got affected during enforcement of lockdown and maintaining perimeter control of containment zones across the country. Police personnel are not covered under the insurance scheme announced by the Centre under the PMGKY.
Soon after the announcement of nationwide lockdown on March 24, the insurance scheme was announced as part of the PMGKY. This insurance, in fact, was supposed to provide a cushion to health care workers, and was over and above any other insurance under which the workers were covered.
The scheme implemented by New India Assurance was initially rolled out for first three months till June end and was subsequently been extended till September end as Covid-19 cases continue to rise across the country.
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