Sunday, January 13, 2008

India Inc losing working days due to staff sickness: Study-India Business-Business-The Times of India

India Inc losing working days due to staff sickness: Study-India Business-Business-The Times of India: "Suggesting a positive correlation between preventive health care and profits of companies, the ICRIER study said, 'In an era where competitiveness and profitability are determined by intellectual capital, promotion of employee health is crucial for the organisation.' The survey covered 81 companies in 15 states and covering a wide range of sectors. The companies included Maruti, Bajaj Auto, Alcatel, TCS, Citibank and Genpact among others.

Almost 82 per cent of the respondents (including many of those who do not provide preventive health care facilities at present) agreed that such measures increase firm productivity and profitability.
Employee wellness demonstrates a real contribution to company bottom lines since promoting employee health is a means to controlling health care costs, the study said. As regards the financing of health care, the ICRIER study found that more than half of the respondents supported the idea of vouchers as an effective delivery tool to encourage preventive health care measures."

While I agree that corporates should be investing in the health of their employees and that preventive healthcare offers a great ROI, I am not sure that providing them with health vouchers is the right way to implement this suggestion. All it will lead to is a greater utilisation of "healthcare" services. This usually just means over-testing and over-diagnosing medical problems, and while this may be good for the bottomline of the hospitals which provide this service, the impact on the worker's health is far more doubtful. We'll just end up seeing an epidemic of "testitis" and an increased population of the "worried well" because of an abuse of "executive health checkup" schemes !

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