Disability Health Insurance for the Differently Abled Children – A World Health Day Focus Article

The 2019 “State of the Education Report for India: Children with Disabilities” took into account the 2011 census, according to which there are 78,64,636 children with disability in India constituting 1.7 percent of the total child population.

Three-fourths of the children with disabilities at the age of five years and one-fourth between 5-19 years do not go to any educational institution, the report said.

“Significant gaps, therefore, remain, even though successive government schemes and programs have brought large numbers of children with disabilities into schools,” the report said.

What is happening in India for differently abled children?

But, 99% children with disability are not getting enough Physiotherapy, Occupational Therapy and Speech Therapy treatments. Most of these kids are managed at the Disabled Children Play Schools or NGO run Special Schools, which focus more on education than treatment. But real requirement for these kids are reverse; they need more of treatment than education.

What is the minimum rehab duration?

Prof. Dr. Prabhu, Physiotherapist at Steadfast physiotherapy Centre at HSR Layout, Bangalore Says, A child with cerebral palsy or Autism or any other neurological conditions may require minimum 3 hours daily physiotherapy and occupational therapy at the physiotherapy centre and also the children require another 3 to 4 hours of activities by the parents. He says that intensive physiotherapy can achieve considerable improvement in children walking and other functional activities.

Dr.Pooja Bai, Physiotherapist, at Steadfast Neuro Super Speciality Rehab Centre, HSR Layout, Bangalore says, more focus should be on the functional activities, which can be achieved by several hours of training to the Cerebral Palsy, Autism, Down Syndrome and other neurological diseases.

What is the solution?

Number of hours of treatment for the children with disability is not addressed by the governments, in all countries. The government and private focuses on normal people’s health insurance. Children and adult with disability are completely ignored. Readers should understand that insurance is provided for medical conditions for limited periods, not for the physical disability and for long term for the disabled children.

Parents of children with cerebral palsy  and other neuro conditions suffer from a substantial psychosocial  and financial burden. 99% of parents are not able to provide right treatment for long duration for their kids. Due to the difficulty in balancing family and work, they had significant financial burdens. They also perceived a lack of knowledge and awareness about possible options for the treatment of their child.

A well civilized society should not leave its children with disability on kind of situation where children take no treatment at special schools. They are treated by only helpers and attenders, not by the specialists. Though we are able to touch Moon and Mars, we are highly ignorant of our children’s issues. The disability welfare support offered by the government are grossly insufficient, even in developed countries.

This is the right time, the government, and the public should focus on providing a special health insurance which should cover specialized treatment for long duration and also by right rehabilitation specialists.

Steadfast Physiotherapy Center in HSR Layout, Bangalore is very happy to makes this awareness on occasion of World health Day.

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