File photo: Logo of ESIC is seen in this illustration photo.
New Delhi: The Employees' State Insurance Corporation (ESIC) has allowed public other than its subscribers to avail medical services at its under-utilised hospitals.
The decision was taken during the ESIC's 176th meeting held on December 5 under the chairmanship of Labour Minister Santosh Kumar Gangwar, a labour ministry statement said.
The decision will immensely help common people avail quality medical care at low cost and ensure full utilisation of ESIC hospital resources, it added.
In the meeting, it was decided to allow non-insured persons to avail medical services at under-utilised ESIC Hospitals after levying user charges at a subsidised rate of Rs 10 for outpatient department (OPD) consultation and at 25 per cent of Central Government Health Services' package rates for in-patients, the statement said. Also, the ESIC will provide medicines on actual rate initially for one year on a pilot basis.
The ESIC has over 150 hospitals and around 17,000 beds for patients across the country.
It has also approved hiring of full-time contractual staff in various departments to meet the shortage of specialist/super-specialist doctors in some of its hospitals.
The recruitment to 5,200 posts such as social security officer, insurance medical officer Grade-II, junior engineers, teaching faculty, paramedical & nursing cadre, upper division clerks and stenographers, among others, in the ESIC is under process, it said.
In a major move, the labour ministry has decided to enhance the exemption limit for payment of employees' share of contribution from Rs 137 to Rs 176. This comes in the wake of rise in the national floor-level minimum wages to Rs 176.
Among the officials present at the meeting were Labour and Employment Secretary Heeralal Samariya, ESIC Director General Raj Kumar and senior officers of the ministry.