Suraksha ensures protection for children | Sunday Observer

Suraksha ensures protection for children

Students’ health strongly affects their school attendance and academic performance. Connecting them to a health insurance scheme will improve their educational outcomes. Millions of children who are qualified for health insurance are not insured. So, the government’s new health scheme would help the 4.5 million school attending children in the country.

‘Suraksha’ is the free health insurance policy which would benefit all school children between the ages of 05 and 19. It was launched on October 1, 2017 with the government having allocated Rs 2.7 billion for the purpose.

The Ministry of Education introduced the concept to be carried out by Sri Lanka Insurance (SLI), to be enacted under the theme ‘Forever protect the children of the nation’. The policy aims to ensure that the physical and mental well-being of all Sri Lankan children will be maintained at an optimum level.

The policy will ease the financial burden when students are faced with illnesses, accidents and disabilities in and out of school. It will help students to continue their education, overcoming any health-related obstacles they may encounter, irrespective of financial status.

Director, School Health and Nutrition at the Ministry of Education, Renuka Pieris, speaking to the Sunday Observer said, “Students need not pay a premium for health insurance as the policy is free. The government pays an annual premium of Rs. 2,700 million including vat for the total number of students in the country.

The scheme is categorized into three sections - health insurance, accidental insurance and special benefits.

The special benefits category is for doctors’ children and include private hospital charges where a 20% discount from the total hospital charges will be given. We have submitted student data to SLI and it has been forwarded to the procurement committee.

Students will be given their health insurance cards from SLI as soon as possible, as they are working on it.” Pieris further said that students can apply for benefits by downloading the ‘Suraksha’ claim form from the Ministry of Education website or SLI website.

“Those who are applying should fill the particular form, attach all relevant documents and hand over same to any branch of SLI. Up to now we have received 35 claims and 12 students have already benefited.

Recently there was a claim from the parents of a student who died accidentally.

As students have not received the health insurance cards yet, they have to apply with a letter from the school principal.

Students can get information and advice about the scheme through the hot line of the Ministry of Education 011-3641555 or SLI on 011-2357357 before applying,” she said. 

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