ESIC wants states or health ministry to take over its hospitals1 min read . Updated: 24 Nov 2020, 08:14 AM IST
- A plan of the UPA government to modernize ESIC hospitals was not implemented in full owing to paucity of funds
The Employees’ State Insurance Corp. (ESIC), which runs a network of hospitals across the country for government employees, has asked the Union health ministry and state governments to take over some of them to avoid complications arising from dual control, a person aware of the matter said. Some ESIC hospitals in states are run by the respective state governments, with the corporation supplying medicines.
A parliamentary standing committee on labour has invited representatives of the ESIC and health ministry on Tuesday to assess the impact of covid-19 on these healthcare facilities, and discuss their functioning and management.
“The biggest problem is that hospitals under ESIC have not been developed to meet the requirements of the people and this has continued for a very long time," said a person aware of the development. “There are hospitals which are run by the state governments and medicines are provided by ESIC, which makes it difficult for the smooth functioning of these health facilities. The corporation has now asked the health ministry and respective state governments to start taking control of some of these hospitals for better management and functioning," he said on the condition of anonymity.
“Covid-19 is a recent phenomenon and of course it will be part of the discussion because ESIC hospitals are important healthcare facilities, but the crisis within the ESIC has continued for a very long time and it is financially draining ESIC," this person added.
A United Progressive Alliance (UPA) government plan to modernize ESIC hospitals on a par with the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) was never fully implemented due to the lack of funds.
“ESIC, the Union government and state governments look at the functioning of these hospitals; but this is exactly the problem because there is complete lack of responsibility. These health facilities were built to look after government employees working in mines and hazardous industries, and all authorities are responsible to ensure that they get healthcare without any problem," said the person quoted above.