ESCI to cover India in ESI health insurance scheme by year end

The State Employees Insurance Corporation (ESIC) decided on Sunday that its health insurance plan ESI will be implemented across the country by the end of 2022.

At present, the State Employee Insurance Scheme (ESI) is fully implemented in 443 districts and partially implemented in 153 districts. The ESI chart does not cover a total of 148 regions.

A Ministry of Labor statement said that the Council, headed by Minister of Labor and Employment Bhubandar Yadav, in its 188th meeting held on Sunday, took important decisions to strengthen the mechanism for providing medical care and services across the country.

She added that it was decided that the ESI plan would be implemented across the country by the end of 2022.

By the end of the year, the partially covered areas that are not fully covered by the scheme will be placed within the scope of the ESI scheme, the statement said.

Medicare services will be provided by establishing new branch offices (polyclinic branch offices), through activation of mIMP (Modified Insurance Medical Practitioner) and joint hospitals in Ayushman Bharat Pradhan Mantri Jan Arogya Yojana (PMJAY).

Besides, the center decided to establish 23 new hospitals with a capacity of 100 beds across the country.

These include six hospitals in Maharashtra in Balghar, Satara, Penn, Jalgaon, Chakan and Banvel; Four are in Haryana in Hisar, Sunipat, Ambala and Rohatak; Two hospitals each in Tamil Nadu (in Chingalpattu and Irud), Uttar Pradesh (Moradabad and Gorakhpur) and Karnataka (Tumkur and Udupi).

ESIC will also set up one hospital each in Andhra Pradesh (Nellore), Chhattisgarh (Bilaspur), Goa (Mulgaon), Gujarat (Sand), Madhya Pradesh (Jabalpur), Odisha (Jarsuguda) and West Bengal (Kharagpur).

Besides these hospitals, five dispensaries will also be opened in 62 places.

Moreover, 48 dispensaries will be opened in Maharashtra, 12 dispensaries in Delhi and two dispensaries in Haryana.

These hospitals and clinics will ensure that high-quality medical care is provided to insured workers and their families.

To provide high-quality medical care, the center is working to strengthen its infrastructure through the establishment of new hospitals and the modernization of existing hospitals.

ESIC at its meeting also decided to allow insured workers and their family members to benefit from cashless medical care services through Ayushman Bharat PMJAY Hospitals set up in all areas where the ESI scheme is partially or is being implemented, or where the existing ESIC healthcare facilities are limited .

ESI beneficiaries in 157 regions already benefit from cashless medical care through this link arrangement.

It was decided to set up the departments of Radiation Oncology and Nuclear Medicine at three colleges and ESIC hospitals in Sannagar, Faridabad and Chennai.

It added that it would be the first time that such services would be provided at ESIC-owned facilities.

Two catheterization laboratories will be established at ESIC Medical College and a hospital in Sanathnagar, Telangana and Alwar, Rajasthan.

A decision has also been taken to upgrade the existing 200-bed ESIC Hospital in Pune to a 500-bed facility.

The upgrade of this hospital will benefit 7 lakh workers and their family members in Pune.

Other important decisions made at the meeting included improving medical care services for insured workers and their family members.

ESIC has decided to acquire the state government-run ESIS Hospital, Sonagiri, Bhopal to operate it directly under its management control.

To bridge the gap of unavailability of premium specialists/specialists in government-run ESIC hospitals, ESIC will now engage the in-demand professionals.

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