The condition of ESI hospitals and their working in the country is generally satisfactory. This was stated by the Minister of State & Labour and Employment Shri Harish Rawat.in a written reply in the Lok Sabha today.
The Minister said that some complaints relating to inadequacy of medical facilities are received from time to time which are taken care of by public grievance redress mechanism. If any officer or employee is found indulged in any activity which is violative of the rules, action is taken against such officers or employees. The funds generated for ESIC are utilized for providing benefits under ESI Scheme to the ESI beneficiaries only.
Steps taken by ESI Corporation for streamlining the functioning of the hospitals are as under:
(i) ESI Corporation has taken a decision to reimburse the administrative expenditure incurred by the State Governments on actual basis without ceiling subject to fulfilment of certain conditions. This will ensure State Governments to post the medical and Para medical staff in ESI Hospitals and dispensaries as per norms and standards of ESI Corporation and will help in providing proper medical care facilities to ESI beneficiaries. Further, the ceiling on medical care reimbursement to the States has been increased from Rs.1000/- to Rs.1200/- w.e.f. 01.04.2009.
(ii) Hospital Development Committees have been constituted in all ESI Hospitals and have been given adequate administrative and financial powers for taking decisions for improvement in medical care facilities.
(iii) Modernization & up gradation of hospitals by providing modern equipments for diagnostic and clinical services. To facilitate early sanction of equipments for hospitals, Senior State Medical Commissioners/State Medical Commissioners, ESIC at State level have been delegated powers to sanction equipments up to Rs.15 lac per unit.
(iv) ESIC has formulated norms and standards for staff and equipments for smooth functioning of hospitals and dispensaries.
(v) Powers have been delegated to the State Medical Commissioners for sanction of equipments, release of advance, on account payments and repair & maintenance of equipments.
(vi) Apart from this, ESI Corporation is incurring entire expenditure on construction / repair and maintenance of hospital buildings at its sole cost and sharing expenditure on equipments costing above Rs.25000/- per unit outside the ceiling.
(vii) For ensuring regular supply of medicines, ESIC formulates rate contracts for allopathic and ayurvedic drugs and the same are sent to all the State Governments for procurement of medicines.
(viii) ESI Corporation has undertaken patient satisfaction survey in ESI Hospitals by independent agencies and is taking various actions based on the findings of the survey for improving the medical care facilities in ESI Hospitals.
(ix) ESI Corporation is getting its hospitals and dispensaries graded by reputed organizations. Further action has been initiated for getting ISO certification in respect of hospitals and dispensaries.
(x) ESI Corporation has taken a decision to set up one hospital in each State as Model Hospital. At present, ESIC has set up Model Hospital in 18 States. These hospitals are being graded up as per norms and standards laid down by ESI Corporation. The expenditure on Model Hospitals is fully borne by ESI Corporation.
(xi) The expenditure on super speciality treatment is being totally borne by ESI Corporation outside the ceiling since 01.08.2008 and ESIC has entered into tie-up arrangement with reputed Government/private hospitals for super speciality services and is providing cashless and hassle free services to the ESI beneficiaries.
(xii) ESI Corporation has taken a decision to take over the ESI Scheme from the States to be run directly wherever the State Govt. gives consent for the same.
(xiii) ESI Corporation in its meeting held in August 2009, has decided that henceforth all the new hospitals under construction and proposed will be run directly by ESI Corporation and total expenditure on these will be borne by ESI Corporation.
(xiv) As a part of initiative for overcoming the shortage of medical manpower and improving the services in ESI Hospitals, ESI Corporation has undertaken a project for starting medical colleges, nursing colleges, dental colleges and training school for other Para-medical staff in ESIC/ESI Hospitals.
At present, ESI scheme is applicable only to workers in organized sector earning upto Rs. 10,000/- per month and the benefits thereof are only provided to workers covered under the Scheme.