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Health Minister Mansukh Mandaviya said the government launched the PMGKP scheme to provide an insurance cover of Rs 50 lakh to eligible beneficiaries. The scheme has been extended several times.
Insurance claims worth Rs 808 crore have been paid to the families of 1,616 deceased healthcare workers who were involved in fighting the COVID-19 pandemic, Union Health Minister Mansukh Mandaviya said in Rajya Sabha on Tuesday. The Centre launched the 'Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Package' (PMGKP) insurance scheme on March 30, 2020, for health workers fighting COVID-19.
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The scheme provides comprehensive personal accident cover of Rs 50 lakh to 22.12 lakh healthcare providers, including community health workers and private health workers, who may have come in direct contact with and were involved in the care of COVID-19 patients and may be at risk of being impacted by the disease. Replying to a supplementary question, Mandaviya complemented all doctors, nurses and other healthcare workers for doing exemplary work during the first, second and third wave of the pandemic.
He said the country was able to successfully handle the pandemic because of the efforts of these health workers. The minister said the government launched the PMGKP scheme to provide an insurance cover of Rs 50 lakh to eligible beneficiaries. The scheme has been extended several times.
Mandaviya said insurance claims amounting to Rs 808 crore under this limit of Rs 50 lakh have been paid to families of 1,616 health workers. In a written reply, Mandaviya said 201 compensation claims amounting to Rs 100.5 crore had been paid in Maharashtra till January 2022. As many as 160 claims amounting to Rs 80 crore were paid in Andhra Pradesh.
To another query during Question Hour, the minister said health is a state subject and the related data is collected by the states and then reported to the central government. Mandaviya said the WHO has issued guidelines on collecting the data on COVID-19 deaths.
Based on these guidelines, the Centre has created a platform and asked the states to submit the data on COVID-19 deaths on it, he added. So far, all the state governments have submitted data of over 5 lakh deaths caused by COVID-19, Mandaviya said, asserting that the Centre has nothing to hide.
The Centre has also asked states to reconcile the data if they failed to submit it, he said, adding that many states have done that. "We disclose whatever information we get from the states," he said.
The minister said the Centre has maintained data on the total cases and deaths as reported by states and union territories on a regular basis. "Disaggregated data by profession is required to be maintained by the states. Accordingly, the Union government has requested states/UTs to furnish the requisite details," he added.
Private hospital staff/retired/volunteer/local urban bodies/contract/daily wage/ad hoc/outsourced staff requisitioned by states/central hospitals/autonomous hospitals of central/states/UTs, AIIMS and Institute of National Importance (INI)/hospitals of central ministries specifically drafted for the care of COVID-19 patients are also covered under the PMGKP. The PMGKP was extended from time to time. It was last extended for a period of 180 days with effect from October 20, 2021.