Annual Fear for Dengue has made a strong Insurance Business Sense

Apollo Munich roped in ex-cricketer Saurav Ganguly to make a killing

Annual Fear for Dengue has made a strong Insurance Business Sense

New Delhi, July 29: Do you want to ease much of the Dengue, nay, platelet worry?  Just spend one rupee, twenty paisa a day.

Dog cheap indeed! In a first, Apollo Munich, India’s health insurance major, has floated a unique insurance instrument ‘Dengue Care’ to mitigate the yearly fear of dengue after onset of monsoon. The fear of Dengue in masses is mostly due to thinking about the high cost of treatment that might accrue due to platelet transfusion.

For yearly one-time premium of Rs. 444/- that breaks into one rupee, twenty paisa per day, the company will provide Rs. 50,000/- inpatient and Rs. 10,000/- OPD coverage.

Given the amount of fear that grips Delhi and NCR people with the onset of monsoon every year, Apollo Munich’s dengue product is indeed people friendly but the premise on which the company leveraged its dengue business seems completely flawed and misleading, if juxtaposed to the guidelines of IMA, the apex association of allopath doctors and that of the central government.

The company has roped in ex cricketer and likely coach of Indian team, Sarav Ganguly to make a killing but the company used ‘fear mongering’ as it’s most potent weapon of business promotion. Antony Jacob, CEO, Apollo Munich Health Insurance, talked about the speed with which platelet count falls in a dengue patient and the acute need of getting platelet in time to check the fatality. Saurav ganguly heightened this platelet syndrome by signing pledge to donate his platelets for dengue patient if need be.

Surprisingly, platelet resuscitation is rarely needed in treating dengue patients. Dr. K.K. Aggarwal, General Secretary of IMA, has said it in press conferences again and again that platelet resuscitation is not needed in the treatment of dengue save and except in rare cases when patients start actively bleeding. According to him, glucose resuscitation is the only component of dengue treatment. The fact is platelet as a component of dengue treatment is being stressed because platelet has become in instrument of patient fleecing by corporate hospitals and nursing homes. The cost in many cases reaches to even one lakh rupees due to unnecessary platelet resuscitation

When this fact was raised yesterday in the launch press conference, even the doctor on the pay roll of Apollo Munich  agreed that platelet resuscitation is not the first line of intervention in the treatment of Dengue. At this ‘delivery’ of Meditoall editor dhananjay kumar, ace former cricketer looked as if he was not prepared for the ‘googly’.

Platelet count, necessary for clotting of blood, depletes in Dengue fever  for sure but it should be no cause for worry. According to Dr. Aggarwal, even if the count plummets to 2000, there is not so much to worry. If it has reduced to 50,000- 20,000- 10,000, there should be no worry at all. Only Glucose resuscitation is needed and platelet counts will be reclaimed of its own.

In 2014, there were over more than 40,000 dengue cases reported in India, as per statistics from the Ministry of Health. Estimated number of unreported cases is 6 million. The dengue outbreak is prevalent during June and runs up till November, and results in increase in medical expenses for families across the country. On an average, hospitalisation for dengue treatment costs an individual Rs. 35,000/-.

Antony Jacob, CEO, Apollo Munich Health Insurance said, ‘In keeping with our DNA to innovate and create uncomplicated products which are truly instrumental in fulfilling the needs of the consumer, we have developed Dengue Care. As the incidence of dengue cases is growing annually across the country, Dengue Care is poised to help people avail best in class medical facilities to overcome dengue, and not worry about the medical expenses it entails. Moreover, customers need not burn a hole in their existing health covers. Dengue Care is also an ideal product for those who seek a basic health insurance policy, but hesitate to purchase a full-fledged policy.’

 Saurabh shared his experience with dengue. He said, ‘Having seen my daughter go through dengue a few years ago, and the anguish it causes, I urge everyone to pledge their platelets for helping people suffering from dengue and who need to replenish the lost platelets’

Apollo Munich also launched an initiative ‘Pledge against Dengue’. The company in its release read, ‘besides financial aid, dengue patients also need blood platelets and it is difficult to find donors in the hour of need. As platelets cannot be stored, this campaign invites sign-ins from people to volunteer to pledge their platelets for those in need. Apollo Munich has created a microsite (www.apollomunichinsurance.com/denguecare) that will serve as a unique platform for those who need platelets and who wish to donate. A person can enter in his/her personal details such as name, city of residence and contact details. When the need arises, Apollo Munich would facilitate the donation of platelets.’

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