On the 6th. November 1946, in the Central Legislative Assembly, was introduced a Bill to provide for compulsory State Insurance for certain benefits in the events of sickness, maternity, unemployment and injury to workmen employed in or in connection with factories.
The administration of the scheme is proposed to be entrusted to a Corporation constipated by central legislation. The Corporations functions will be performed by a Central Board constituted of representatives of Central and Provincial Governments, and of employers, workers and the medical profession. The Board will include certain members elected by the Central Legislative Assembly. A standing Committee of the Board will act as the executive of the Board and the Medical-Benefit Council will be set up to advise on matters relating to the administration of medicinal benefit.
The insurance fund will be mainly derived from contributions from employers and workmen. The contributions payable in respect of each workman will be based on his average wages and will be payable in the first instance by the employer. The employer will be entitled to recover the workmens share from the wages of the workmen concerned.
Workmen whose earnings do not exceed ten annas a day will be totally exempted from payment of any share of the contribution. The entire contribution on account of such workmen being met by employer.
Is this Bill to be taken as a propitious fortuity to be pursued energetically by the General Council of the State Faculty of Homoeopathic Medicine in the interest of its registered practitioners? One point of approach to the objective is the right the Homoeopathic medical practitioners have acquired on being registered with the State Faculty of Homoeopathic Medicine, Bengal, which fact is tantamount to recognition by the State that they are doctors qualified to practice some curative system of medicine-a system of therapeutics that has been greeted by the intelligentia and the man in the street in all parts of the globe.
Another point of approach is the economic view of the scheme. This point appeals to all workmen and particularly to employers in relation to workmen who are exempted from payment of any share of contribution to the medical benefit fund. It needs gigantic efforts on the part of the General Council to boost its listed doctors on to the panel of selected medical men for employment in the State Insurance Scheme.
There is, however, a sky-high hurdle for the General Council to negotiate. The registered homoeopathic doctors have no licence to practice under the Provincial Medical Act, or The Indian Medical Practitioners Act, hence they have no locus standing in the medical community recognized by the State. This ostracized situation makes the registration with the State Faculty of Homoeopathic Medicine very much secular and insipid. Let us hope the General Council will at once take up the cause and make war to the uttermost until the registered homoeopathic medical practitioners are granted State licence recognized by all the State departments.