Delhi employees to get health checks paid by state govt
Delhi government employees over the age of 40 have been asked to get their health examinations done under a new scheme that makes annual check-ups a part of performance appraisal reports, according to government officials and documents seen by HT.
The check-ups, which will be mandatory for employees across the board irrespective of their rank and designation, will be paid for by the government.
The modalities of the scheme, first initiated by lieutenant-governor (L-G) Anil Baijal on August 1, were finalised by the Delhi government on November 25, and circulars were sent out to all departments between December 1 and 14.
The Delhi government has around 200,000 employees. It was not immediately clear how many of them are over the age of 40 because there is no centralised database, and employee records are maintained individually by the over 100 departments of the administration.
According to the circular, the health examinations can be done in all government hospitals and 16 empanelled private hospitals across the city.
“An annual Medical Health Check-Up is already operating in respect of All India Service Officers . The L-G has accorded approval for ‘Annual Medical Health Check-up’ for all serving employees of Government of National Capital Territory of Delhi aged 40 years and above,” said the circular cited above and seen by HT.
Such annual health check-up facility is available for IAS officials across all states and it is the central government which reimburses for their periodic medical examination, according to a statement issued by the L-G office.
For the first year, financial year 2019-20, all employees have to get the health examinations done by March 31. A senior official in the chief minister’s office said the process is likely to get more organised from next year (2020-21), with rules requiring each employee to get health examinations scheduled on or before their birthdays.
The health examinations under the scheme will include electro cardiogram (ECG), complete blood count, fasting blood sugar, lipid profile, urine test, thyroid test, body mass index examination, and eye check-ups.
Each health examination is expected to cost the government about ₹2,000 for men and ₹2,200 for women employees.
The hospitals will prepare health reports, like they often do in the private sector, to be affixed with the Annual Performance Appraisal Report (APAR), the circular said. A new column for people above the age of 40 has been added in the government’s new APAR form.
“The ‘Annual Health Check-up Scheme’ is aimed at fostering preventive healthcare by promoting wellness among thousands of government employees,” Baijal said in the statement issued by his office.
Delhi’s chief secretary, Vijay Dev, told HT, “This would ensure good health for all employees under the Delhi government and it would go a long way in improving productivity and welfare.”
While the move was welcomed by some employees, some others expressed concerns that it may be used against them during the appraisal process.
“It is a good move. It will give us an opportunity to assess our health and it’s all paid. It is difficult for any employee to perform well with poor health. Health check-up is a must,” said an official in the government’s revenue department who did not want to be named.
“High levels of sugar and other health issues have become lifestyle diseases. But how does it affects one’s performance in office?” asked an official in the government’s transport department, who asked not to be named.
Another official in the revenue department said: “The fear is maximum among officers aged between 40-50 years of age; they have more than 10 years of service left and do not want anything to affect their APAR.”
“For any individual above 40 years age, annual health check-ups are very crucial. Heart issues, respiratory issues, diabetes and several diseases start manifesting at this age. They should be diagnosed and treated at the earliest,” said Vikas Maurya, head of the pulmonology department at Fortis Hospital in Delhi’s Shalimar Bagh.