New Delhi, July 20, 2021:
Life insurance benefits are being provided under Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Package (PMGKP): Insurance Scheme for Health Workers Fighting COVID-19. The scheme provides a comprehensive personal accident cover of Rs. 50 lakhs to healthcare providers, including community health workers and private health workers drafted by the Government for COVID19 related responsibilities, who may have to be in direct contact and care of COVID-19 patients and who may be at risk of being impacted by it. The benefits under the said scheme have been extended for a further period of 180 days (w.e.f. 24.04.2021).
As on 15th July 2021, a total no. of 921 doctors and healthcare workers have been paid insurance claim 50 lakh each under the said scheme.
Further, realizing the criticality of human resources at the time of pandemic, Ministry of Health & Family Welfare has taken a number of steps to improve safety and wellbeing of medical officers and staff.
Few of the actions taken in this regard include:
- In the context of COVID-19, the Epidemic Diseases (Amendment) Ordinance, 2020 was promulgated on 22nd April 2020. Further this ordinance was brought before the Parliament & was passed and notified on 29th September 2020. The amendment provides for safety and security of Health Care Service Personnel (HSPs) from acts of violence.
- With the launch of COVID-19 vaccination initiative on 16th January 2021, Healthcare workers were identified as one of the first priority group. State Governments/ UT administrations have been repeatedly urged to ensure that the medical professionals engaged in Covid related work are suitably vaccinated.
- Ministry of Health and Family Welfare provided guidelines on Infection Prevention and Control practices to the State Governments to minimize the risk of infection to healthcare workers.
- Training on Infection Prevention and Control was also made available for all category of healthcare workers on the iGoT platform.
- Guidelines on rational use of PPEs for hospital and community settings (including front line workers) were issued. These guidelines followed a risk-based approach and recommended type of PPE that needs to be used in various risk settings.
- The healthcare workers were provided with hydroxychloroquine for prophylaxis and prevention of infection. An Advisory to that affect was also issued by MoHFW on 23rd March 2020.
- For high-risk exposures, healthcare workers are being provided with a quarantine period initially for one week and thereafter taking the profile of the health worker a decision to be taken for further period of one week. An advisory to this effect for managing health care workers working in COVID and Non-COVID areas of the hospital was issued by Ministry of Health and Family Welfare on 18thJune, 2020.
The Union Minister of State for Health and Family Welfare, Dr. Bharati Pravin Pawar stated this in a written reply in the Rajya Sabha here today.