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Year : 2014  |  Volume : 28  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 63

Expanding the benefits of social security to the masses: A guide to policy makers

Department of Community Medicine, Shri Sathya Sai Medical College and Research Institute, Chennai, Tamil Nadu, India

Date of Web Publication18-Sep-2014

Correspondence Address:
Saurabh RamBihariLal Shrivastava
Department of Community Medicine, Shri Sathya Sai Medical College and Research Institute, Chennai, Tamil Nadu
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/0972-4958.141061

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How to cite this article:
Shrivastava SR, Shrivastava PS, Ramasamy J. Expanding the benefits of social security to the masses: A guide to policy makers. J Med Soc 2014;28:63

How to cite this URL:
Shrivastava SR, Shrivastava PS, Ramasamy J. Expanding the benefits of social security to the masses: A guide to policy makers. J Med Soc [serial online] 2014 [cited 2022 Nov 30];28:63. Available from:

Social security is a safeguard mechanism, which a society extends to its fellow members to warrant income security and attainability of the welfare services, especially for the vulnerable sections of the society. [1] Apart from ensuring the economic stability at difficult times, social security measures play a defining role in improving the quality of life of the victim and his or her family members. [2] In fact, these are a set of interventions implemented to meet the basic needs of the people and enable them to lead a productive life. [3],[4]

The recent estimates suggest that only 20 percent of the global population has access to social security measures. [1] Not only that, the benefits of social security in most of the settings are limited to the organized sector, which reflects the need to expand the coverage of social security measures. [1],[3] In order to universalize the benefits, the policy makers have formulated multiple laws to ensure transparency in different provisions. [3],[4] The social security provisions have imparted a significant influence on all the levels of society, including the employees and their families (viz., access to welfare services; financial security in post-retirement period; assistance to children for their education; and in maintaining stable labor relations between employers and employees). [1],[3],[4]

The findings of studies have revealed that the absence of social security measures will ultimately harm the individuals and also lead to exploitation of the dependants. [4],[5] A wide gamut of heterogeneous parameters like the permissible age; [3] diseases covered; [1],[3] level of awareness among the people; [3] influence of macroeconomic trends; [5] economic policy reforms; [6] legislative provisions; [2] and institutional trust on the national social security system [7] have affected the eligibility and range of benefits of the social security.

Multiple strategies have been formulated and implemented to extend the beneficial services to those who need them the most. [1] Furthermore, interventions like continuous political support; [3] designing a process to improve the completeness of establishing disabilities or deaths; [6] medico-economic evaluation of health products; [8] performing medical examination with the help of a standardized protocol; [3] ensuring strengthening and development of universal social security systems; [1],[3] and taking steps to maintain institutional trust [7] have been proposed to expand the range of social security services.

In conclusion, social security incorporates variable strategies designed by the policy makers to ensure welfare of the disadvantaged population, and thus there is a crucial need to widen the scope of existing measures to the vulnerable people.

  References Top

1.International Labour Organization. Facts on social security; 2012. Available from: [Last accessed on 2014 Feb 22].  Back to cited text no. 1
2.Gallegos-Carrillo K, García-Pena C, Duran-Munoz C, Mudgal J, Duran-Arenas L, Salmeron-Castro J. Health care utilization and health-related quality of life perception in older adults: A study of the Mexican social security institute. Salud Publica Mex 2008;50:207-17.  Back to cited text no. 2
3.Park K. Medicine and social sciences. In: Park K, editor. Textbook of Preventive and Social Medicine. 20th ed. Jabalpur: Banarsidas Bhanot; 2009. p. 613-4.  Back to cited text no. 3
4.Benavides FG. Public health and social security: Two basic components of the welfare state. Gac Sanit 2011;25:91-3.  Back to cited text no. 4
5.Khan J, Gerdtham UG, Jansson B. Effects of macroeconomic trends on social security spending due to sickness and disability. Am J Public Health 2004;94:2004-9.  Back to cited text no. 5
6.Takahashi MA, Iguti AM. Changes in workers′ rehabilitation procedures under the Brazilian social security system: Modernization or undermining of social protection? Cad Saude Publica 2008;24: 2661-70.  Back to cited text no. 6
7.Murayama H, Taguchi A, Ryu S, Nagata S, Murashima S. Institutional trust in the national social security and municipal healthcare systems for the elderly in Japan. Health Promot Int 2012;27:394-404.   Back to cited text no. 7
8.Dervaux B, Baseilhac E, Fagon JY, Ameye V, Angot P, Audry A, et al; participants of round table N°6 of Giens Workshops XXVIII (th). Medico-economic evaluation of health products in the context of the Social Security Financing Act for 2012. Therapie 2013;68: 253-63.  Back to cited text no. 8


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