SC asks Centre to inform about settlement of insurance claims of healthcare professionals

The Supreme Court has recently said that the appreciation of healthcare professionals in the fight against COVID-19 should not be “reduced to rhetoric”. It also directed the Centre to apprise it as to how many claims of “Corona Warriors” under PM insurance scheme have been settled by it and sought a timeline for settling the pending dues.

The bench headed by Justice D Y Chandrachud said, “While we are dealing with a terrible second wave of the Covid-19 pandemic, there must be an effective policy to ensure that the nation truly acknowledges their effort and creates incentives for them. We hope it will be remedied soon by the Central and State Governments through the introduction of appropriate guidelines and measures.”

“We direct the Central Government to inform this Court as to how many claims are pending under the Scheme, and the timeline within which the Central Government expects to settle them,” the bench, also comprising L Nageswara Rao and S Ravindra Bhat, stated in its order.

It said that they spoke not only as members of the Court, but also as grateful citizens of the country, and commend the outstanding work of all healthcare professionals (doctors, nurses, healthcare workers, laboratory technicians, ward staff, ambulance drivers, crematorium workers etc.) during this crisis.

“They have truly gone beyond their call of duty and toiled day in and day out, relentlessly without rest amidst great challenges. It is absolutely necessary to take urgent steps for their well-being to ensure that our appreciation for their tremendous efforts is not reduced to rhetoric,” the bench addee in the 64-page order.

Healthcare professionals have been at the forefront of tackling this crisis, it cited. “We have to recognize their contribution as medical healthcare professionals who have undertaken to protect public health using proven scientific evidence and best practices and to serve to community at large” and not just as “Corona Warriors”.

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