Insurance for Persons with Epilepsy
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Epilepsy is a treatable brain disorder. In India it is known by a variety of names like fits, mirgi, aakdi, daura. When a person has two or more seizures it is called ‘Epilepsy’.
70% of persons with epilepsy can live normal lives if treated early and managed with antiepileptic medications. At times surgery or a special diet can be treatment alternatives.
Symptoms of epilepsy range from just a twitch of one part of the body with complete awareness, to a seizure which involves the whole body and a total loss of consciousness / awareness. A person normally gets the same pattern of seizures or fits each time. Seizures usually have a time frame of a few seconds to a minute.
- There is also a wide variation in frequency of seizures amongst people with epilepsy. Some people may need medications for a life time to stay seizure free. Others may get seizures once a year or once in 6 months or more frequently.
Any one at any age can get a seizure irrespective of economic class or background. But most often it starts in childhood or old age. Epilepsy is the second most common neurological disorder after ‘Headache’.
- No matter what the status of one’s epilepsy in terms of seizure control, symptoms or frequency, the moment a person with epilepsy declares that he has epilepsy, he is flatly denied health insurance. This becomes one more reason for people to hide the disorder, misconceptions and stigma being the other. Health insurance should be the Basic Fundamental Right for every citizen of our country.
- Just as people having diabetes get insurance, a similar provision can be made for people with epilepsy.
0.5% of the population has epilepsy which means at least 67 lakhs or 6.7 million people are discriminated solely on the basis of their epilepsy which is a human rights violation.
Honourable Prime Minister, I appeal to you to please consider the plight of millions of persons with epilepsy who in addition to having to bear the cost of their medicines and investigations for epilepsy, have to bear hospitalisation expenses for other illnesses/accidents etc. should they occur.
Honourable Prime Minister, our Constitutional Right to Equality demands we be treated as equal citizens.
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