Bill to extend ESI healthcare facilities in the offing
The government will introduce a Bill in the Budget session of Parliament to extend ESI healthcare facilities, a move that will benefit about 30 crore people in future.
"The government will introduce a Bill in Parliament to amend the ESIC Act, 1948, so that the beneficiaries of Rashtriya Swasthya Bima Yojana can use the ESI healthcare facilities in the country," ESIC Director-General P C Chaturvedi told reporters.
At present, only those who are insured under the Employees' State Insurance Corporation (ESIC) Act can avail of the corporation's healthcare facilities.
The Rashtriya Swasthya Bima Yojana (RSBY) is a cashless health insurance cover of up to Rs 30,000 for workers below the poverty line in the country. All insured workers under the scheme are issued smart cards that can be used at all empanelled healthcare facilities.
The earlier UPA government wanted to extend the benefits of ESI healthcare facilities to RSBY beneficiaries, immediately after implementing the scheme on April 1, 2008.
It also issued an Ordinance on July 3, 2008, amending the ESIC Act, 1948, but the edict expired after six months in January this year.