Delhi, 28 May:The Minister of State for Labour and Employment (Independent Charge) Shri Oscar Fernandes has said that the Employees’ State Insurance Corporation (ESIC) should make every effort to bring more and more workers under its cover to ensure that every worker of the country gets the healthcare and medical facilities.
He however added that this task should be done in a methodical manner to ensure that employers do not feel harassed. He was addressing the first ever Conference of Revenue Officers of ESIC here today.
The Minister exhorted the ESIC Revenue Officers to dedicate themselves to the cause of healthcare of workers and asked them to match the numbers of Employees’ Provident Fund (EPF) members and said that ESIC should aim at increasing the number of beneficiaries to at least four crore, the same as EPF members.
Shri Fernandes said that ESI Hospitals should work towards achieving such high standards that the demand to become members of ESI Scheme should come from the employees and employers themselves. In this context, he said that the ISO certification would be made mandatory for ESI Hospitals to ensure that these are equipped with the best of medical facilities. In this context, he also mentioned that two of the Delhi ESI Hospitals have already got the ISO 9001 certificate.
The Minister said that ESI Hospitals would be used to give specialized training to its Doctors and other para-medical staff to meet the challenge of shortage of medical personnel in the country. Shri Fernandes pointed out that the number of workers in the organized sector is declining and therefore, Government is committed to give health care facilities to workers in the unorganized sector.
Speaking on the occasion, Secretary Labour and Employment, Smt. Sudha Pillai said that Government is committed to expand the ESI Scheme in new areas. In this context, she said that during the year 2007-08, it has been implemented in 37 new areas covering nearly 98,000 employees. She said that the number of insured persons touched a new high in the year 2006-07 to 1.01 crore. The total number of beneficiaries is 3.94 crore.
During the year 2007-08, the contribution income has touched a new high of Rs. 3249 crores against a target of Rs. 2450 crores, thereby registering an increase of about Rs. 800 crores, which is 32.61% more than the target.
The main objective of this conference is to interact with the field functionaries (Insurance Inspectors and above) and brief them about their role in the implementation of the New Inspection Policy and other programmes of the Corporation and Ministry of Labour & Employment as well. This Conference will also be utilized to give the message about expectation of the level of integrity and efficiency from them so that the delivery system could be improved further.
This meeting is the first of its kind wherein focus is on improving the delivery of benefits to the insured persons and their family members with a vision of extending ESIC’s comprehensive and multi-pronged social security cover to its beneficiaries with the cooperation of all stakeholders i.e. employers, employees, trade union and the Central & State Governments.