The Employees State Insurance Corporation (ESIC) will extend its health services to 20 crore workers in organised as well as unorganised sectors in 3 to 4 years, Union Labour Minister Bandaru Dattatreya said on Monday. “At present, the corporation is providing health services to eight crore organised workers. Policy will be formulated to extend ESIC facilities to 20 crore workers in the next 3-4 years with a focus on workers in unorganised sector also,” he told reporters in Hyderabad.
Building construction workers, beedi workers, auto drivers/riksha workers, Asha workers, anganwadi workers, mid-day meal workers will be provided health services under social security scheme, the minister said. He said ESIC is planning to upgrade its dispensaries into six-bedded hospitals in a phased manner. As many as 500 dispensaries will be upgraded in the first phase. ESIC has already upgraded 150 hospitals into 100-bedded hospitals and facilities like appointment of doctors, minor operations, X-Rays and scanning facilities would be provided, Dattaterya said.
A 700-bedded super speciality hospital at Sanathnagar here will be constructed, he said, adding that the ESIC is running medical colleges in Faridabad, Kolkata, Chennai, Bengaluru, Kalaburgi and Hyderabad. The minister further said ESIC has inked an MoU with the governments of Rajasthan, Himachal Pradesh and Bihar for establishing medical colleges in those states.
Health services like tele-medicine, e-learning and digital library facilities would be provided at the medical colleges, he said. Dattatreya asked Telangana Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao to allot government land for 59 dispensaries, which at present are running in private buildings, to enable them to be converted into six-bedded hospitals. He also requested Rao to allot land in Goshamahal and Old City here to construct 100-bedded hospitals.