Connect with us

Headlines of The Day

Parliamentary panel says construction of ESI hospitals going at snail’s pace

The Employees State Insurance scheme or ESI scheme provides care during sickness, maternity, disability and death caused by work injuries.

The construction of hospitals under the Employees State Insurance scheme is moving at a very slow pace, making the financially vulnerable bear the medical expenses, said a parliamentary standing committee report on the functioning of hospitals and funds allocated under the scheme for providing free healthcare to workers in the organized sector.

The Employees State Insurance scheme or ESI scheme provides care during sickness, maternity, disability and death caused by work injuries.

The scheme benefits employees who earn not more than Rs 21,000, and work in factories or other establishments where not less than ten people are employed. The scheme also covers disabled people who earn up to Rs 25,000 per month. IIt is administered by the Employees’ State Insurance Corporation, an autonomous body under the Ministry of Labour and Employment.

A parliamentary standing committee report on the recent developments under the scheme has however pointed out that the medical services for the beneficiaries of the scheme are not being provided effectively and there is a lack of commitment from the part of the government when it comes to implementation of new infrastructural developments.

The ESIS provides medical services primarily through a network of around 106 hospitals and over 1,500 dispensaries and clinics across India currently, with a total capacity of around 14,000 bed

“The Committee is dissatisfied with the pace of progress of setting up of new hospitals,” said the report by a standing committee on labor, textiles and skill development.

It said the Ministry of Labour and Employment should look at these shortcomings with a “sense of urgency and commitment”.

The parliamentary committee has found that of the existing hospitals under the scheme, six have turned non functional due to a fall in the number of beneficiaries in the area.

As a part of the expansion of the scheme to benefit more people across the country, the government had proposed the construction of new hospitals under the scheme. According to the report, the ESIC has given in principle approval for 76 new hospitals under the scheme. Of these 39 hospitals were sanctioned in 2019, the committee found.

However the construction of these hos[itals are being hindered due to various reasons. As the committee report points out only two hospitals have finished construction so far.

“Of these, only 2 Hospitals at Angul (Odisha) and Bikaner (Rajasthan) have been completed and operationalized; 16 are under construction; 02 under tendering; 07 under estimation and in respect of the remaining 12 hospitals, allotment of land is under process.”, says the report.

The report also points out that the Ministry of Labour and Employment has refused to provide any information regarding the completion of the sanctioned 39 hospitals.

“In respect of the 37 hospitals sanctioned after 2019, the Ministry/ESIC has not provided information regarding the target date of completion and operationalization despite being specifically asked for, which is improper and regrettable.”

The parliamentary committee has urged the government to urgently rectify the shortcomings in the implementation of the scheme and work to fix targets, and ensure the operationalisation of hospitals in a time bound manner. The New Indian Express

Copyright © 2024 Medical Buyer

error: Content is protected !!