Editorial | Securing people's healthcare

Although governments world over spend billions on healthcare, in terms of building infrastructure, arranging high end investigating machines and supplying free drugs in hospitals, the need for more is always felt. That is the reason that there is always a demand from the people and the concerned civil society formations to enhance the budget on healthcare. This demand was raised more than before during this pandemic as the inadequacies in the healthcare system and the vulnerability of the common people came into bold relief. One more thing that surfaced up in this crisis is the need for health insurance. It goes without saying that in the times when we witnessed sudden deaths, and the complications in the already existing ailments, the need for health cover, and also some financial safety for the family of the deceased, is all the more crucial. As against the societies in the west, and other developed parts of the world, our idea of insurance still pivots around investments. We always calculate the future profits before opting for any insurance plans. But that is a wrong way of looking at the idea of insurance.

It is primarily meant for the safety, and covering the risks. The two most known risks are that of any severe ailment, or sudden death when the family is still dependent on the deceased. In this case it is vital that the government raises sensitivity about health insurance and also about the term insurance. In this backdrop if the administration in  J&K has announced  a health cover for all the inhabitants of J&K, it is a much needed step in right direction. In fact the government should fine tune these initiatives and educate people on this, so that none remains outside the net of safety. The government should make the formalities easy and guide people on how to avail this insurance. Government must also think of providing a term insurance, either free of cost, or at subsidised cost. This is a crucial element of social security net. In fact it would benefit people in million different ways. What the government can also do is to make these covers – healthcare and term insurance – mandatory for private companies, and then help these companies in offering these insurance covers to the employees. If a comprehensive plan is drafted on this, it would be a huge relief to people.