Determinants of Willingness to Pay for Health Insurance of the Informal Industrial Workers in Coimbatore - Tamil Nadu
The Urban Informal Sector Comparises the overwhelming majority of workers in the country. Unlike workers in the organized sector, unorganized sector workers did not have steady employment, secured or sustainable incomes and were not covered by social security Protection. The situation was further worsened by the market failures – covering capital markets, insurance market, and Labour markets which are of particular importance for the security of the less well-off section in the society. Therefore the Government should play a fundamental role in raising the standards of living through various types of direct and indirect interventions which influence nutrition, health and other constituents of human well- being. But deprivation and vulnerability to vagaries of life were the major threats to the workers in the urban informal sector. The structural adjustment programmers initiated in India since 1991, have also contributed in some measure to the economic and emotional vulnerability of workers in the organized and unorganized sector. All these call for a sustainable and expanded coverage of promotional and protective social security programmes. The available research works, both theoretical and empiri¬cal, on the supply and demand sides of the labour market has been inadequate. Researchers have identified five form of social security Viz. employment, income education, health, food and women. The present study confines itself to the one form of social security i.e., Health security. Coimbatore District is well- known for its textile and engineering industry which consists of units turning out a variety of products needed by different types of industries, as input. Apart from supplying components to major units, many engineering units are engaged in producing consumer durables too. Using the number of units functioning and the size of workforce as the criteria, textile industry and three prominent engineering industries, namely, foundry, Pump and textile machinery industries were chosen for the purpose of the study. The result of the study would be of much interest and relevance to those who are serious about transforming the working environment of those engaged in the production process of the selected industries. No doubt, the government/policy makers would be the main beneficiary of the outcome of the present study. It would be able to understand the difficulties faced by workers, many of whom are engaged in hazardous work spots. Policy making bodies of the government machinery are sure to gain input when they think about schemes that would lessen the problems faced by the worker.
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