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Parliamentary panel wants Health Ministry to take over ESIC hospitals, colleges

By Rajeev Ranjan Roy (ANI) | Updated: Dec 21, 2018 20:21 IST

New Delhi [India], Dec 21 (ANI): A Parliamentary committee has recommended that Union Health and Family Welfare Ministry should take over hospitals and colleges of Employees State Insurance Corporation (ESIC) so that these facilities are run in a better manner.
Public Accounts Committee's (PAC) 115th report for 2081-19 on Union Ministry of Labour and Employment says that "to efficiently utilise infrastructure already created by the ESIC and to ensure uniformity in standards of medical education across all government-run medical colleges, Ministry of Health and Family Welfare may be approached to take over ESIC colleges and medical education projects."
The report of PAC titled 'Performance Audit of Employees State Insurance Corporation and Special Audit of Medical Education Projects of ESIC' was presented to the Lok Sabha on December 14, and was laid in the Rajya Sabha on the same day. It is worth mentioning that the 22-member PAC including its chairperson is currently headed by Mallikarjun Kharge of the Congress.
Given the 'capability' and 'mandate' of Union Health and Family Welfare Ministry (MoHFW), the PAC is of the view that ESIC hospitals and medical colleges can be run and developed like AIIMS if Union Ministry of Labour and Employment approaches MoHFW.
The PAC in its report also referred to Union Labour and Employment Ministry's submission to Prime Minister Narendra Modi that "since ESIC did not have the core competency to run medical colleges, they may be handed over to relevant agencies with capability and mandate to run medical colleges."
The Committee, however, expressed shock, while noting that "the lack of manpower planning resulting in vacant posts of medical and paramedical staff in ESIC hospitals and colleges." The committee while opining that "lack of planning at every stage and hasty decision making led to such a situation" has stated that "big projects should only be undertaken after analysing every related aspect and in active coordination with" the Ministry of Labour and Employment.
Beginning in 1952 with just two centres in Kanpur and Delhi, the ESI Scheme today is implemented in 830 centers in 34 States and Union Territories and covers over 7 lakh factories and establishments across the country and benefits 2 crore workers and about 8 crore beneficiaries. (ANI)