921 doctors, healthcare workers paid Rs 50 L each insurance claim under PMGKP scheme: Govt

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New Delhi, Jul 20 (PTI) Till July 15, a total of 921 doctors and healthcare workers have been paid insurance claim of Rs 50 lakh each under the Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Package (PMGKP) scheme for Covid warriors, Rajya Sabha was informed on Tuesday.

In response to a question on the number of doctors, nurses and other healthcare workers who have succumbed to COVID-19 since 2020, Minister of State for Health Bharati Pravin Pawar said the Ministry of Health does not maintain occupation-wise data on Covid cases and deaths.

However, life insurance benefits are being provided under the 'Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Package (PMGKP): Insurance Scheme for Health Workers Fighting COVID-19', the minister said.

The scheme provides a comprehensive personal accident cover of Rs 50 lakh to healthcare providers, including community health workers and private health workers drafted by the government for Covid-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 (with effect from April 24, 2021). 'As on 15th July 2021, a total number of 921 doctors and healthcare workers have been paid insurance claim Rs 50 lakh each under the said scheme,' Pawar stated.

Further, realising the criticality of human resources at the time of the pandemic, the Ministry of Health has taken a number of steps to improve safety and wellbeing of medical officers and staff.

On whether the government has conducted any survey to assess shortage of healthcare staff in public or private hospitals post the second wave of the COVID-19 pandemic, Pawar said there are 10.14 lakh allopathic doctors and 5.65 lakh AYUSH doctors available in the country. It gives a doctor-population ratio of 1:854. Also, there are around 22.72 lakh registered nurses (RN&RM) in the country. Considering their 70 per cent availability, there are around 16 lakh active registered nurses, Pawar said in the written reply.

Further, in order to augment human resource for Covid management so as to ensure adequate healthcare staff in hospitals, the central government after consulting the National Medical Commission and Indian Nursing Council issued an advisory to states and union territories on May 3. PTI PLB KJ

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