Saturday, 25 June 2011

Health Cover for Domestic Help in India

Read in the Times of India today that "Now, your bai to get Indian Rupee symbol.svg30K health cover". Apparently around 47.5 lakh domestic helps aged between 18 and 59 will benefit under Rashtriya Swasthya Bima Yojana. The article also gives details of how much premium the government would pay, the eligibility criteria etc. 

The first thing that came to my mind was which half decent hospital will accommodate patients with such a measly insurance cover? When my husband had malignant malaria last year he was admitted to our family physician's nursing home, which I would grade as a decent place, and we paid Indian Rupee symbol.svg25K for 3 days. Imagine what we would have to pay in case of surgeries etc! We paid a bomb when my daughter was born in Lilavathi, Mumbai! Well, an optimist may think that something is better than nothing. At least, the government is thinking about that strata of the society!

Another thing that really irked me was the article mentions the scheme will cost the government Indian Rupee symbol.svg30 crore now and is projected to rise to over Indian Rupee symbol.svg74 crore in the next fiscal year. Why is it so important to highlight those figures? Considering each scam we hear about is worth a hundred crore rupees to start with and goes up to a thousand, what is 30 crores for the Indian government? My point is why can't they spend some more!

Do I have an answer, no? Neither does the 'aam janta' I associate with. At this point I just want to be hopeful that the two ladies who help me in my household work get to benefit from this scheme, and I will do my bit ( if I can) to help them.

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