Amid tussle with welfare board, Punjab health department stops registration of construction workers in Ayushman Bharat - Hindustan Times
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Amid tussle with welfare board, Punjab health department stops registration of construction workers in Ayushman Bharat

ByKaram Prakash, Patiala
Feb 04, 2024 06:50 AM IST

The deadlock is over Punjab Building and Other Construction Workers welfare board and the Punjab labour welfare board wanting SHA to use real-time data of construction workers so that benefits are extended to only eligible persons.

Amid a tussle with the Punjab Building and Other Construction Workers (BOCW) welfare board, the state health department (SHA) has stopped fresh registration of construction workers for the Ayushman Bharat Yojana, a flagship health scheme of the union government.

The deadlock is over BOCW and the Punjab labour welfare board wanting SHA to use real-time data of construction workers so that benefits are extended to only eligible persons.
The deadlock is over BOCW and the Punjab labour welfare board wanting SHA to use real-time data of construction workers so that benefits are extended to only eligible persons.

The deadlock is over BOCW and the Punjab labour welfare board wanting SHA to use real-time data of construction workers so that benefits are extended to only eligible persons.

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The Punjab labour welfare board and by extension, BOCW, want SHA to maintain real-time data of construction workers with the health agency citing its inability to do so. SHA officials said the data was maintained by the National Health Agency (NHA) and therefore, they don’t have any access to the portal.

The officials of the SHA said that the construction workers whose e-cards were not generated had already been temporarily disabled from source data on December 5, 2023, until the time the BOCW could clarify their registration status.

As per the documents accessed by HT, BOCW wants to integrate its portal with SHA through a login or via other means to make the real-time data registration of the beneficiaries without any time lag.

“Integration of the board’s portal with SHA is important because benefits should only be given to the registered construction workers and not to those whose registrations have expired or not renewed. And this is possible if real-time data is uploaded,” reads the latter written by Punjab BOCW Welfare Board.

Punjab Labour Commissioner TPS Phoolka said the departments are working to devise a mechanism so that real-time data of registered construction workers could be reflected at the Ayushman desks in the empanelled hospitals.

“So that whenever a construction worker comes to the empanelled hospital for treatment, his or her registration status could immediately be verified. Data of construction worker is very dynamic as every construction worker has to renew his/her registration every year,” he said.

Meanwhile, Vijay Walia, an activist said in all of this, it is construction workers, who have been at the receiving end. “It is they who will not be able to register for the Ayushman Bharat Scheme to get the health benefits. This is a serious lapse on the part of the BOCW,” he said.

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