Workers ‘denied’ health benefit, turn to SC panel
Several labourers have knocked on the door of the Scheduled Castes (SC) Commission after they were allegedly denied benefits by the Health Department in the Patran block of Patiala. For the last two months, they have been running from pillar to post to get benefits under the Ayushman Bharat Sehat Bima Yojana.
Earlier, the labourers were denied benefits due to non-detection of their fingerprints by scanners. Finally, Health Minister Balbir Singh Sidhu had to intervene after The Tribune highlighted the issue. The minister, on February 4, had ordered the use of iris scanner for registration. But even after a month, the officials concerned have not been able to complete the registration process. A senior official of the Health Department said they were facing technical glitches.
On March 5, eight families of construction workers went to the Patran Civil Hospital. However, they could not avail the benefits as the iris scanner was reportedly non-functional. Irked by the apathetic attitude of the department, the labourers have asked the SC Commission to intervene in the matter. Sardara Singh, a worker, in his complaint to the commission, stated that the Labour Department had already released Rs 18 crore to the Punjab Health System Corporation. However, the department had failed to further disburse the benefits to the needy. He said, “For the past two months, we are being harassed by the Health Department. They have failed to give health benefits to the needy. Now, we have written a complaint to the SC Commission to fix accountability and take action against the erring health officials.” Tejinder Kaur, Chairman, Punjab SC Commission, said, “I will take action on the complaint after looking into the matter.”
Courtesy : The Tribune