There is provision made under ‘Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Package for Health Workers Fighting COVID-19. This is a Central Sector scheme.
The scheme provides an insurance cover of Rs. 50 lakh to healthcare providers, including community health workers, who may have to be in direct contact and care of COVID-19 patients and who may be at risk of being impacted by this. It will also include accidental loss of life on account of contracting COVID-19.
The scheme also covers 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 & INIs/ hospitals of Central Ministries drafted for COVID-19 related responsibilities.
The insurance provided under this scheme would be over and above any other insurance cover being availed of by the beneficiary.
In addition for the treatment of those affected by COVID, Government is implementing Ayushman Bharat – Pradhan Mantri Jan Arogya Yojana (AB-PMJAY) to provide health cover of Rs. 5 lakh per family per year for secondary and tertiary care hospitalization to around 10.74 crore poor and vulnerable families (approx. 50 crore Individuals) as per Socio-Economic Caste Census (SECC) data. To effectively cover AB-PMJAY beneficiaries for testing and treatment of COVID-19, packages for ‘Testing for COVID-19’ and ‘Treatment of COVID-19’ have been notified.
The Minister of State (Health and Family Welfare), Sh Ashwini Kumar Choubey stated this in a written reply in the Rajya Sabha here today.
It was also noticed that increase in mental health issues during the pandemic. Realizing the impact that COVID-19 may have on the mental health of the people, including children, the Government has taken a number of initiatives to provide psychosocial support during COVID-19. These initiatives include:
Setting up of a 24/7 helpline to provide psychosocial support, by mental health professionals, to the entire affected population, divided into different target groups viz children, adult, elderly, women and healthcare workers.
Issuance of guidelines/ advisories on the management of mental health issues, catering to different segments of the society.
Advocacy through various media platforms in the form of creative and audio-visual materials on managing stress and anxiety, and promoting an environment of support and care for all.
Issuance of detailed guidelines by the National Institute of Mental Health and Neurosciences (NIMHANS), Bengaluru- "Mental Health in the times of COVID-19 Pandemic - Guidance for General Medical and Specialized Mental Health Care Settings".
All the guidelines, advisories and advocacy material can be accessed on the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare website under “Behavioural Health – Psychosocial helpline” (https://www.mohfw.gov.in/).
Online capacity building of health workers by NIMHANS in providing psychosocial support and training through (iGOT)-Diksha platform.
Lack of sufficient mental health professionals is one of the challenges faced in mental healthcare service delivery. The year-wise, State-wise details of mental health practitioners however is not maintained centrally.