The Employees’ State Insurance (ESI) hospitals and dispensaries are facing an acute shortage of staff, information sought under the Right to Information (RTI) Act has revealed.
Of the 83 sanctioned posts of senior medical officers and medical officers, 43 are lying vacant. Of the 94 sanctioned posts of sweepers, only 66 are filled. As far as posts of peons are concerned, only 170 of the sanctioned strength out of 280 are filled.
In case, the members of the ESI Corporation avail health services from other hospitals, they are entitled for reimbursement at government rates but the clerical staff that deals with reimbursement process is short by nearly 30%.
Factories, big shops, private schools and hospitals having more than 10 employees with salary up to `15,000 are members of the Employees State Insurance Corporation (ESIC) which is run by the union ministry of labour and employment. These members contribute 1.75% of their total wages per month to the ESIC. Besides, the owners also contribute 4.75% of the wages of their employees to the ESIC every month. The ESIC is supposed to provide social security and health services to the employees in lieu of their contribution.
RTI activist advocate Astha Bagga, who obtained the information from the ESI directorate, said the workers and owners contributed 6.5% of the wages every month but the health centres lacked in human resources and infrastructure.
“The youth of the state is running from pillar to post in search of jobs but the government is not utilising this force in its institutions which are short of staff,” she said.
?In a written submission to the ESI Corporation director, Bagga demanded that either the corporation should take control of ESI hospitals and dispensaries as had been done with the Ludhiana hospital or press the government to provide proper infrastructure and staff to run these institutions. She also demanded that the government should provide adequate funds for running ambulances and generators which often remain out of order for lack of repair.