Health insurance for garment workers has cast a positive impact on the country’s readymade garments (RMG) sector as productivity in RMG industry has increased substantially, finds a study report.
The health insurance, the report said, also reduced the absenteeism in RMG factories while the facilities helped the RMG industries to increase their revenue.The study came up in a presentation on ‘fine tuning the health insurance model of SNV for readymade garments workers’ at a seminar at the conference room of the institute of Health Economics of Dhaka University
Presenting the study report, director of the institute Syed Abdul Hamid said that the study was aimed at to look at the existing health insurance scheme at apparel factories and assess its viability. The study was released on Saturday at the seminar.
The stakeholders now decide about how to standardise the existing health insurance scheme, he added. Hamid claimed that the factory owners and workers are happy with the benefit, but the insurance companies have some grievances.
The presentation said that the insurance companies believe that the workers tend to seek more healthcare adding that many of the workers want to take maximum benefits, sometimes worth about Tk 15,000, as against their premium of Tk 575. “The workers should be counseled about the insurance mechanism of risk pooling and fund pooling,” Hamid said adding that the existing model was not viable for the insurance companies.
The study also said that the health insurance also increases the behaviour of access to health care by the apparel workers.
The study, however, showed that the insurance company could not make profit from the insurance and even the money claimed by the beneficiaries exceeded the yearly premium within six months.The study was carried out at five apparel factories of about 10,000 workers under insurance coverage of Pragati Life Insurance and Alpha Islamic Life Insurance.
The study also found that the owners of the factories wished to increase 50 per cent of the premium contribution while the beneficiaries showed willing to contribute the premium up to 50 per cent.