Despite COVID surge, Centre withdraws insurance coverage for healthcare workers

435 healthcare workers, including doctors, test positive for COVID-19 in Kerala

The Centre quietly withdrew the Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Package (PMGKP) insurance scheme for healthcare workers announced last year as part of its Rs 1.7 lakh crore COVID-relief package.

Under the scheme, healthcare workers fighting COVID were provided with an insurance cover of Rs 50 lakh. The scheme had then played a crucial psychological role in boosting their morale.

However, after being extended twice, the scheme was finally withdrawn on March 24, 2021.

Healthcare workers across the country have expressed their dismay at the Centre's decision to not extend the scheme. The move, which came at a time when the country is facing an unprecedented surge in COVID cases, was criticised widely.

The government clarified that a new insurance arrangement will soon take its place.

“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 claims under PMGKP will be settled by the Insurance Company till 24th of April 2021,” it added.

A window of one month, up to April 24, has been provided for the final submission of all the eligible claims to the insurance company along with the requisite supporting documents.

The scheme was implemented through an insurance policy purchased from New India Assurance Company.

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