One of the country’s life assurance companies, Old Mutual Malawi, plans to offer a free life cover to frontline health personnel valued at K22 billion in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic, The Daily Times has learnt.
The offer comes few days after frontline healthcare workers resumed work from a two-week sit-in protesting unavailability of personal protective equipment (PPE) and low risk allowances in the wake of the pandemic.
A concept paper that we have seen indicates that the cover, targeting 22,000 workers, will run for six months starting from May 1 to October 31.
This means the company has sacrificed over K275 million that could have been earned in premiums.
“Old Mutual Health practitioners’ free cover is specially designed under Mlera Life cover, with the goal of providing a life cover for hard working Malawian health practitioners risking their health during the Covid-19 pandemic.
“The cover is free to all registered health practitioners under the Medical Council and Nurses and Midwives Council of Malawi. The cover pays an amount of K1 million upon death due to Covid-19 complications and any accidental death, a three-month waiting period before non-accidental death and no medical testing is required for the six months free cover period,” reads the statement in part.
Old Mutual Malawi Group Chief Executive Officer, Edith Jiya, confirmed the development but was quick to mention that a public announcement will be made on the same soon.
“We should be going out public once we have agreed with the stakeholders on the mechanisms and everything else,” Jiya said.
President of the Medical Doctors Union of Malawi, Collins Mitambo, said the development was welcome and will encourage health workers to work with passion knowing they are covered.
“We are happy because we have been complaining about lack of insurance in terms of exposure so Old Mutual has come at the right time. We have been asking the government to put us on insurance but they were not committal but now Old Mutual has solved that problem,” Mitambo said.
Acting Registrar of the Medical Council of Malawi, Richard Ndovie, welcomed the cover, saying there is a lot of uncertainty and anxiety among medical practitioners as frontline health workers are vulnerable to the disease.