ESIC looks forward at providing health cover for unorganized sector workers

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India’s state-run workers’ insurance agency is set to establish 11 medical colleges in the next five years and upgrading its existing hospitals. The ESIC which covers at least 10 million workers in the organized sector, has a corpus of Rs. 17000 crore. ESIC hospitals are established in industrial clusters with at least 25,000 insured persons and its dispensaries are set up where at least 2,000 insured persons live within a radius of 8km.

Currently, 94% of workforce in India is employed in the unorganized sector with little or no access to social benefits. ESIC is planning to offer health cover to them through the government’s Rashtriya Swasthya Bima Yojana (RSBY). It calls for an amendment in the ESIC Act and will be very soon tabled before the Parliament.

ESIC plans to enter into an agreement with the Union government to roll out RSBY, under which a worker and his family are entitled to be insured for up to Rs 30,000 per annum for medical treatment in private or public hospitals.

The Union and state governments are to sponsor several public and private insurance companies who have tied up in order to take RSBY to small towns, villages and industrial clusters.

It has been made mandatory for medical students selected at ESIC medical colleges to serve at an ESIC hospital for five years after graduation.



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