Civic volunteers, welfare workers reap medical benefits under Swasthya Sathi
The scheme has benefitted a large number of people working as volunteers for the civic and green police and various other workers falling under the Group Health Insurance Scheme, which was launched by the present government, to help workers especially in the time of crisis.
Civic police volunteers, green police volunteers, civil defence volunteers, village police volunteers in Gram Panchayats, disaster management workers, Home Guard/National Volunteer Force personnel, ASHA workers, ICDS workers and other contractual/casual/daily wage workers have been included in the Group Health Insurance Scheme for the members of the self help groups.
The new scheme was introduced as a large section of volunteers and other workers engaged in various development programmes were found to be not covered under any health insurance.
It may be noted here that for the first time in the history of Bengal, the state government has decided to give health insurance to people working as green police and civic volunteer, along with many others.
The idea to bring them under the health insurance schemes was mooted by Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee. The government has come up with the health scheme as these people will get financial benefits during an emergency.
It was found that many of these people were from underprivileged families.
The state government wanted to provide comprehensive health insurance coverage to this large section of the volunteers and other workers and their families to support them during illness or during any critical ailments.
Under the Swasthya Sathi scheme, the state government provides basic health cover for secondary and tertiary care up to Rs 1.5 lakh per annum to each worker coming under its ambit.
In case of critical illnesses and surgeries like cancer, neurosurgeries, cardiothoracic surgeries, liver diseases and blood disorders, the patients are entitled to get up to Rs 5 lakh to each patient or their family members.
All pre-existing diseases are covered under this scheme. The state government will bear the entire premium and the beneficiaries need not contribute to avail the benefit. The scheme is being implemented by the state health department.
The state government also introduced a major scheme by the name of Shishu Sathi prakalpa, under which children suffering from heart-related and other ailments could get treatment at
various state-run medical colleges and hospitals free of any cost.
The state government also tied up with some private hospitals so that more number of patients can be covered under this scheme.