The Centre on Wednesday, 21 April, announced that the Rs 50 lakh health insurance scheme for healthcare and frontline workers has been extended for another year with immediate effect.
The health insurance scheme, which comes under the Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Package (PMGKP), was launched to provided a safety net to healthcare and frontline workers due to any adversity during the COVID-19 pandemic. However, it was concluded on 24 March 2021.
Under the scheme, healthcare workers will be provided an insurance cover of Rs 50 lakh. The scheme was implemented through an insurance policy purchased from New India Assurance Company.
The move to end the scheme on 24 April received a lot of condemnation after a letter by Rajesh Bhusan, Secretary of the Union Health Ministry of Health. However, soon after it came to light, the Union Health Ministry on Sunday, 18 April, tweeted that a new insurance arrangement will soon be made for healthcare workers.
The letter also stated that so far, only 287 claims have been approved under the PMGKP.
The Indian Medical Association wrote a letter to the Government of India on Monday, 19 April, asking it to extend the insurance scheme for healthcare workers.
India is currently witnessing a second wave of COVID-19 cases. On Wednesday, 21 April, the country reported 2,95,041 fresh cases of COVID-19, its highest spike since the start of the pandemic, and 2,023 deaths in the last 24 hours, according to figures provided by the Ministry of Health.
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