करंट टॉपिक्स

Government of Kerala not bothered about ESI

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Kochi (VSK). Government of Kerala looks like least bothered about the ESI (Employees State Insurance) Corporation facilities for its subjects. Kerala has not participated in ESI Board meetings since the last five years. Other states in the country are attending all the meetings, sans fail, and achieving all their requirements. But Kerala skips all meetings. Fact remains, Kerala suffers a lot on ESI front. The other day, Union Labour Minister Bhoopendra Yadav chaired a meeting in Chandigarh. But, Kerala as usual, did not turn up. State Labour Secretaries are ex-officio members of ESI Corporation. Toms Jos, who retired a few years back, was the last Labour Secretary to represent Kerala in ESI meetings. Kerala skipped even the online meetings held during Corona period.

Kerala is the state with maximum number of ESI schemes. Kerala has got 12 hospitals, more than 140 dispensaries and various offices in the state. The same time, beneficiaries, that is hardworking employees, suffer lack of sufficient doctors, related staff and even proper medicines. ESI hospitals in the state do not have even the facilities available in primary health centres. Hospitals need 240 doctors whereas the available strength is 105. Number of paramedical staff available is 201 whereas the requirement is 234. A 100-bed hospital has been allotted for Perumbavoor, an industrial area in Ernakulam district. But the state government has not found any land for the same.

There are allegations that health insurance companies find one or another reason for not giving the total coverage after their clients get discharged from the hospital. But ESI is a bliss for the manual labourers. Cardiac surgery, kidney ailments, liver ailments, etc. are too expensive for the poor labourers. The CPM-dominated Left Democratic Front led by CPM supremo Pinarayi Vjyayan claim, every now and then, that theirs is a proletarian regime! But this is the actual scenario.

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