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Modern 500-bed facility to come up at ESIC Hospital in Ludhiana

The Employees’’ State Insurance Corporation (ESIC) Model Hospital in Ludhiana will soon be developed as a state-of-the-art facility with 500-bed capacity, the Centre has announced.

An announcement to this effect was made by Union Minister of Labour and Employment Bhupender Yadav while acceding to the demand raised by Rajya Sabha MP from Ludhiana Sanjeev Arora.

Besides, the minister has also convened a meeting of officials from his ministry and the state government in Chandigarh on February 20 to discuss and finalise the plan to establish six new ESIC Hospitals in Punjab, including another one in Ludhiana district, besides other demands of Punjab pertaining to the welfare of labour and employees.

The development assumes significance as Ludhiana ESIC Model Hospital with 262-bed capacity was not only lacking beds but also other facilities to provide treatment and medical facilities to almost 12 lakh workers employed in various establishments covered under the ESI Corporation, which runs the lone hospital in the state’s biggest and largest district, in terms of area and population, since 1970s.

Arora told The Tribune that Yadav promised to almost double the capacity of Ludhiana ESIC Model Hospital and provide state-of-the-art facilities here during a meeting with him in New Delhi recently.

“He has promised to upgrade Ludhiana ESIC Model Hospital to state-of-the-art facility and increase its bed capacity to 500,” the Rajya Sabha MP disclosed.

Arora said the minister was affirmative to the demands raised by him and assured to take care of all issues shortly. “He is holding a meeting of the Centre and state officers in Chandigarh on February 20 to discuss and decide all pending matters put forth by me,” the parliamentarian said.

Arora apprised Yadav that the lone ESIC Model Hospital in Ludhiana was established in 1970s when the number of workers was not even 10 per cent of the present workforce in the district. “Besides progressing in Ludhiana, the industry has also spread to adjoining areas of Khanna, Sahnewal and Samrala, following which there is a dire need to have another ESIC Hospital between Khanna and Sahnewal on the NH-44 or nearby area so that the industrial workers and their dependents can be catered to in a better way,” he demanded, while hoping that the new hospital, if established, will also be able to cater to the industry of Mandi Gobindgarh and Fatehgarh Sahib districts.

On the state front, the Rajya Sabha MP told the minister that a proposal from the state government to set up six new ESIC Hospitals in Punjab was pending with the Centre. “Punjab is in dire need of more ESIC Hospitals as the state has a single bed for 4,100 insured workers under the ESIC, which is almost double the national average of one bed for 2,300 insured workers,” he pointed out.

The state government had proposed to set up ESIC Hospitals at six locations – Doraha in Ludhiana, Sector 66 in Mohali, Lalru in Mohali, Rajpura in Patiala, Malerkotla, and Bathinda.

The minister said the setting up of ESIC Hospitals was an ongoing process and was based on the number of insured persons in an area in accordance with the norms of the ESIC.

4,055 workers per hospital bed in state
The state-wise status of beds at hospitals run by the ESIC showed that the state has 12,16,430 workers insured under the ESIC for whom there were 300 sanctioned beds in the ESIC Hospitals, which work out to be 4,055 workers per hospital bed. It was almost 74.63 per cent more than the national average of 2,322 workers per ESIC hospital bed. The Tribune

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