All newly constructed hospitals and those approved in future will now be run by the Employees’ State Insurance Corporation (ESIC) itself, unless the State Government insists to run the hospital, Ministry of Labour & Employment said in a statement.
This has been done in view of demand from both workers and employees, and with the objective to provide better medical services to the beneficiaries.
Keeping in view the increase in ESI coverage over the recent years, it has been decided that in areas where ESIC infrastructure is not available within a radius of 10 kms, the beneficiary will be allowed to avail medical consultation for OPD services directly from a hospital empanelled with ESIC or with Ayushman Bharat scheme without the need for referral from an ESI dispensary or hospital, it said.
In such cases, if admission for indoor treatment is required, the empanelled hospital will obtain time bound permission from the ESI approving authority through an online system, it added.
Further, super speciality services in cardiology including nephrology, urology and oncology will also be strengthened in select ESIC hospitals in Delhi/NCR, and will be extended to other ESIC hospitals across the country in a phased manner.
It has also been decided to extend the relaxed conditions and the enhanced benefit of 50% of the average per day earning upto a maximum of 90 days under the Atal Beemit Vyakti Kalyan Yojana to the insured workers who became unemployed due to COVID-19 induced lockdown for a further period of six months i.e. upto 30th June, 2021, the statement noted.
Medical services to the insured workers and their dependants under the ESI Scheme are provided primarily through hospitals and dispensaries run by the State Governments. There are presently 1,520 ESI dispensaries and 159 hospitals across the country, out of which 45 dispensaries and 49 hospitals are directly run by ESIC, while remaining are run by the respective State Governments.
Statement by the Labour Ministry also noted that the ESIC will engage professionals with specialisation in hospital management for maintenance, housekeeping, patient assistance, patient safety and other ancillary activities in its hospitals across the country.
The Corporation will also engage the services of project management consultant for monitoring and facilitating execution of hospital and dispensary construction projects of ESIC from the stage of concept plan till the commissioning of the project, the statement concluded.