NEW DELHI, Mar 23:
Labour Ministry has decided that Employees’ State Insurance Corporation (ESIC) will continue to run its four functional medical colleges at Rajajinagar (Bangalore), K K Nagar (Chennai), Joka (Kolkata) and Rohini (Delhi).
However, the ministry has decided that ESIC will not to venture into the medical education sector and hence will not set up any new medical college in future.
Besides, the ministry has also decided that ESIC will also make its eight under-construction medical colleges functional, which are progressing at different stages.
“The Labour Ministry has decided to continue existing (functional and under construction) medical colleges. We will soon convene a meeting of the ESIC board to apprise the members about these decision,” Labour Minister Bandaru Dattatreya said while addressing a press conference.
The ESIC in its 163rd board meeting held on December 5 last year, had decided to to exit from medical education, as it is not the core function as its core function is to provide social security i.E, cash benefit and medical benefit to insured persons under ESI scheme.
Explaining further for reversing the decision of ESIC board, the minister said, “I have got several representations from medical students of these colleges, their parents and Members of Parliament. Some ministers also discussed the issue and asked to review the decision.”
ESIC’s Director General Anil Kumar Aggarwal said that the incremental cost of running a medical college is about Rs 50 crore per year.
Labour Secretary Shankar Aggarwal said that Labour Ministry has liberalised conditions to encourage states to take over these institution.
He said that a new provision of revenue sharing has been inserted in the terms and conditions for the purpose.
Besides, the state can pay the balance payment for completion of the under-construction project in three installments.
The minister said that the first preference will be given to states while handing over these institutions and only then it would be given to private players to run under the Public Private Partnership mode.
He further said that the ministry has not talked to any private players so far for these eight medical hospital and states are given 15 days more to respond to the proposals.
Under the proposal, three medical colleges—Faridabad (Haryana), Sanathnagar (Telangana) and Coimbatore (Kerala) will be handed over to states as there are sufficient number of insured persons.
The ministry has decided that if states are not willing to run these colleges then ESIC will run on PPP mode or on its own.
Similarly, it was proposed to transfer four medical colleges — Mandi (Himachal Pradesh), Alwar (Rajasthan), Paripally (Kerala) and Bihta (Bihar) — to state where the number of insured persons is lesser.
The ministry has decided that if the states are not willing then those will be fund by ESIC on PPP mode or divest the property.
It was also proposed to transfer ESIC’s Gulbarga medical college to state where there are not sufficient insured persons. The ministry has decided that if the state is not willing then ESIC will run it on its own or in PPP mode.
As per the conditions of the transfer of medical colleges to states, the insured persons will continue to get treatment on cashless mode and the states will bear the balance liability of construction or provide for 50 per cent revenue share if construction is done fully by ESIC.
At present, ESIC has 1.95 crore insured formal sector workers and hence the total number of beneficiaries of ESI scheme including their family members is 7.6 crore. (PTI)
NEW DELHI, Mar 23: