In an attempt to control terrorism and eliminate corruption from our system, our government made the historic decision to demonetize certain denominations of the Indian currency on 8th November 2016. Most of us accepted this as a bold and courageous move, one that previous governments didn’t venture to take.
While its aim was to control the supply of illegal money from hawala operations and terror financing, the move had quite an impact on certain sectors and the day-to-day lives of the common man. One sector that had a severe effect on a large section of people was that of health care.
Impact on practising doctors and private clinics
The hardest blow to the public was when doctors and small private hospitals ceased to accept the “old notes” of the cancelled denominations. This situation was worsened in smaller towns and the rural areas. Even though people had sufficient money stashed away in their bank accounts, they could not access the required medical attention due to the shortage of currency when hospitals required cash and didn’t accept cards.
Impact on Pharmacy Operations
Pharmaceutical operations were also impacted by the change. People found themselves unable to purchase medicines when required. Several medical shops stayed shut for days as they could not accept the cancelled bank notes.In India, like most other developing countries, there’s a large population of patients who visit hospitals and require purchasing medication frequently. This posed a severe problem to people who ran out of their medication during the initial stages of demonetization.
The helping hand from Insurance Companies
Those covered under health insurance had the much-needed option to pay their bills through cashless facilities offered by various companies. This was the only way they could get treatment without worrying about payments, even when very less cash was in circulation.Relying on insurance companies and their various offers seems to be an effective step towards facing medical contingencies and other such situations that may have unforeseen monetary issues.
Let’s hope everything about the demonetization move will turn fruitful and accomplish what our Government intended by taking this bold decision. At the same time, people should slowly start shifting their direction towards alternative options like opting for the best possible insurance policies, at least in the area of meeting their healthcare needs.
In today’s digital world, buying mediclaim policies or medical insurance plans from leading health insurance companies has become as simple as online shopping, as many offer online health insurance purchases. At the end of the day, it’s good to know that any hardship faced by the public, as part of this reformative movement, was temporary and should be considered as a contribution towards the greater good of the country.