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.
A circular by the Union Health Ministry to state chief secretaries and UT administrators invited final claims under the scheme until April 24, saying the effective duration of the scheme had ended on March 24 this year and the government had decided to grant a one-month window to invite final claims.
The Centre had last year announced the scheme as part of its Rs 1.7 lakh crore Covid-19 relief package.
“Eligible claims under the policy are invited till April 24 for final submission along with the requisite supporting documents,” the circular said. The Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Package: Insurance Scheme for Health Workers fighting Covid was launched on March 30, 2020, for 90 days and was subsequently extended up to March 24, 2021.
Ministry of Health and Family Welfare tweeted that a new insurance arrangement will soon be made for healthcare workers fighting COVID-19.
“The claims under PMGKP will be settled by the Insurance Company till 24th of April 2021. Thereafter a new dispensation will be provided to cover the Corona Warriors, for which the Ministry is in talks with the Insurance Company (New India Assurance),” the Ministry of Health tweeted.
The Health Ministry said that 287 claims have so far been approved under the insurance scheme.
“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.”
The scheme had also covered workers in the private sector.
Covid-19 has so far claimed the lives of 162 doctors, 107 nurses and 44 ASHA workers in the country, Rajya Sabha was told on 3 February, 2021.
The figures are based on the intimations received from the states till January 22.
This was stated by Minister of State for Health Ashwini Kumar Choubey in the House in response to a question on the number of healthcare staff, including doctors, nurses and ASHA workers who have been affected died due to COVID-19.
On whether the data presented by the Indian Medical Association regarding the number of healthcare workers who have died due to COVID-19 has been taken note of by the Ministry and any follow up verification of the same done, Choubey said the process of insurance disbursement has been de-centralized under the Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Package.