`Regular health check-ups will reduce absenteeism`

Employees undergoing regular medical check-ups can reduce absenteeism rate by 2-3%, says a study.

New Delhi: Employees undergoing regular medical check-ups can reduce the absenteeism rate by two-three percent and thus add to the increase in the national income, says a study released by an industry lobby Tuesday.

"Corporate regular health check-up for the employees can increase national income through a reduction in absenteeism rate by two-three percent," said the study released by Assocham.

According to the report `Health Care: Impact on Corporate Sector`, organisations should promote an employee wellness programme as it can help reduce chronic and lifestyle diseases of India Inc.

Employees leading healthy lifestyles tend to take less sick leaves with improved work performance and increased productivity that reduces overall costs for the organisation, said the study.

"The chamber suggests that the government provide direct and indirect support in form of subsidies and tax breaks to those companies that are offering preventive health care facilities to their employees by offering pre-paid health vouchers, incentives, discounts as preventive health takes care of health capital," said D.S. Rawat, secretary general of Assocham.

The report, which surveyed 500 corporate employees from 300 companies across 18 broad sectors of the economy, revealed that nearly 75 percent of the respondents suffered from chronic or acute disease.

Out of 65 percent of ill corporate employees, 32 percent were afflicted with lifestyle disease, followed by 21 percent suffering from chronic disease and remaining 12 percent having acute ailments.

As per the survey, 28 percent of the respondents who availed leave from workplace for one-seven days spent less than Rs.1,000 on their healthcare in a year, while 18 percent of the employees who spent Rs.1,000-Rs.5,000 in a year were absent from the workplace from two weeks to two months, suffering chronic health conditions.

A total 52 percent of the people surveyed suffered from influenza and fever and spent less than Rs.500 on their healthcare in a year. Twenty-two percent of the respondents suffered from high blood pressure and they spent Rs.5,000 a year on healthcare.

Twenty-two percent of the corporate employees suffered from depression and spent between Rs.500-Rs.5,000 on their healthcare in a year.

Health expenditure of 42 percent of them ranged between Rs.5,000-Rs.50,000 as they suffered from diabetes, acute liver disease, kidney disease and stroke.