January 6, 2009 1:56:40 am
Against the prescribed ratio of 1:1,000,these dispensaries function with one doctor for 5,000 patients
While revenue of around Rs 50 crore generated under the state’s Employees State Insurance Scheme (ESIS) is lying unused,the patients covered under the scheme in its 10 ESI hospitals and 74 dispensaries are suffering because of the shortage of doctors.
Under the Employees State Insurance (ESI) Act 1948,all non-seasonal industrial workers are insured as per the Integrated Social Insurance Scheme (ESIS) and are eligible to avail medical,sickness,maternity,disability,and dependant’s benefits in addition to funeral benefits.
Some of the dispensaries in the state have as high as 25,000 registered Insured Persons against the prescribed limit of 5,000 persons per dispensary. These dispensaries operate with one doctor for 5,000 patients against the required doctor-patient ratio of 1:1000.
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A dispensary in Halol,which has over 11,500 registered Insured Persons (IPs),functioned with the help of just two staff members two doctors during the entire 2007-08 year.
Across the state,93 posts for doctors are lying vacant. While Ahmedabad region (Ahmedabad,Mehsana,Gandhinagar,Himmatnagar,Nadiad and Khambat) needs 122 posts for doctors as per the ESIC norms,it has only 92 sanctioned posts and of this,35 posts are lying vacant.
The Baroda region (Baroda,Panchmahal,Bharuch,Ankleshwar,Surat,Navsari and Vapi) has 46 sanctioned posts against the required 151. Out of 46 sanctioned posts in the region,19 are vacant.
Interestingly,Rajkot that happens to be the Labour Minister’s region (Rajkot,Surendranagar,Amreli,Jamnagar,Bhavnagar and Porbandar) has 92 sanctioned posts against the required 43.
While revenue records of the last past five years indicate a doubling up of the funds from Rs 77.23 crore in 2002-03 to Rs 112.80 crore in 2006-07,the total expenditure in medical,administrative and repairs has increased by Rs 9 crore only over the period of time. It increased from Rs 54.57 crore to Rs. 63.51 crore,leaving behind a surplus of Rs 49.29 crore,which is lying unused.
Despite the dispensaries being overburdened and the huge sums of money lying unutilised,the number of dispensaries in the state has not increased.
While the ESIS Directorate provided this information in reply to an RTI query,the ESIS Director said,”There has been a mismatch between the sanctioned posts and the number of the doctors required according to the ESIS norms. However,in view of the ESIS’s new policy,we are recruiting doctors according to the requirement in any given hospital.”
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