The Rs 50 lakh insurance scheme for those healthcare workers who die in the line of Covid-19 duty expires on 24 April. Addressing the issue, the Ministry of Health tweeted on Sunday that the Centre is in talks to come up with a new dispensation.
Officials in the Union Health Ministry said the government is in talks with a new insurance company.
“The claims under the Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Yojana will be settled by the insurance company till the 24th of April 2021,” said the Union health ministry in a tweet.
“Thereafter, a new dispensation will be cover the Corona warriors, for which ministry is in talks with a new insurance company (New India Assurance),” it added.
A circular sent out by the Union Health Ministry to states last month said that the scheme concluded on March 24 while only 287 claims had been processed until then.
Anticipating the deaths of healthcare workers, the Union government last year had announced the scheme as part of its Rs 1.7 lakh crore Covid-19 relief package.
“Approximately 22 lakh health workers would be provided insurance cover to fight this pandemic,” the official statement by the government had said. “Safai karamcharis, ward-boys, nurses, ASHA workers, paramedics, technicians, doctors and specialists and other health workers would be covered.”
Scheme was launched last year
The scheme had also covered workers in the private sector. The scheme was launched to provide a safety net for healthcare workers so as to ensure that in case of any adversity due to the coronavirus pandemic, their families are taken care of
“Pertinent to note that only 287 doctors out of 736 deceased have been given Rs 50 lakh,” Dr Ravi Wankhedkar, National President, IMA said
The scheme, announced by Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on March 26, 2020, was first implemented for 90 days and was later extended for a year. The Union government had announced the scheme as part of its Rs 1.7 lakh crore COVID-19 relief package last year.