Health Concern for RMG Workers
The garments sector has a huge contribution to Bangladesh’s economy. According to BGMEA data, 80% of RMG workers are females. Under a project piloted by SNV Netherlands Development Organisation, the health sector of RMG received technical support to cover the cost of health care services of garment workers and create awareness about the need for health insurance.
The team leader of the project ‘Working With Women- II’ stated that they piloted Health Insurance Plus in three factories in 2015-’16. Under this scheme, a female worker who pays an annual premium of Tk. 100 is entitled to get a coverage of Tk. 12,000 of inpatient medical bills. This will also allow a policyholder to check into Centre for Woman and Health without having to worry about the fees. There are currently about 10,000 workers from five factories in Savar, Ashulia and Gazipur who are covered by the policy. Insurance policies work both in favour of the employee and the employer. A healthy worker is more productive than an unhealthy worker.
In most cases, factories have failed to address workers’ health issues in spite of in-house medical centers. The insurance programmes are not getting attention because stakeholders are more involved in their business development. According to a report published by The Financial Express, 43% of RMG workers lose 4 days of salary due to sick leave. It also showed that 75% of workers are willing to pay for health insurance.
A healthy worker is a factory’s asset. The RMG sector is the largest employer for women in the country, so we should show the world that we care for their physical well-being.
Read more here: The Daily Star