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ICICI Lombard Expert Blog
 

Sanitary Workers in Ramanathapuram seek Health Insurance Cards

November 15 2017
Insurance

The district unit of the Tamil Nadu Sanitary Workers association in Ramanathapuram, recently sought the district administration to avail health insurance cards for themselves. They resorted to urging the administration for the same, in order to avail cashless treatment in hospitals under the Chief Minister’s Comprehensive Health Insurance Scheme.

Note that earlier in June 2017, the Central Government had notified the Prevention of Money-laundering (Maintenance of Records) Second Amendment Rules, making PAN/Form 60 and Aadhaar mandatory for availing financial services including insurance and linking current insurance policies.

Sanitary workers and overhead tank pump set operators were led by association district president K. Rajamanickam. They visited the District Collectorate to seek redressal of their grievances, which included implementation of their pay hike that was put in place in July last year, along with payment of dearness allowance.

Mr. Rajamanickam pointed out the plight of about 1,000 pump set operators and over 600 sanitary workers working in the district. He said that pump operators were drawing a monthly salary of ₹3000, and the sanitary workers are being paid ₹4050 every month, instead of the enhanced amount of ₹4,628.

The association district president also noted that even though the workers contribute about ₹1500 every year towards medical insurance, they are not included as beneficiaries in the Chief Minister’s Comprehensive Health Insurance Scheme. Hence, they are left with no choice but to borrow money or pledge jewellery, to pay off bills when they fall sick and are admitted to hospitals.

Despite repeated representations the workers made before the authorities, they were not paid the enhanced salary and the dearness allowance arrears due to them. Not only that, the workers have been left to struggle after retirement as they did not receive any pension or retirement benefit either, after serving the district for 30 to 40 years.

The Chief Minister’s Comprehensive Health Insurance Scheme is a mass health insurance scheme. It was launched by the Tamil Nadu State Government, to provide free medical and surgical treatment in government and private hospitals, to the members of any family in the state whose annual income is less than ₹72,000.

Despite being eligible for cashless services in hospitals, the workers are not given the same. Many of them were also hesitant to appeal to the Collectorate, in fear of being reprimanded by officials. With health insurance being constantly promoted by the union and state governments to reach the masses, it is a basic right of these workers too.

Source: The Hindu

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