Several workers under the aegis of Akhila Bharata Karmika Sangha staged a protest seeking improvement of facilities at the Employees State Insurance Hospital in Shivabagh on Tuesday.

They want the authorities to make arrangements for treatment in the hospital itself and stop referring the patients to private hospitals.

Jeevan, who works as a security guard, said he had to wait for long to get specialists to treat his injuries. “The way we are treated in private hospitals is worse than what we experience at the Wenlock Hospital,” he said.

Praveen Kumar, worker, said the private hospital he was referred for the pain in his neck delayed allotting him a bed. “After six hours I was allotted a bed in the ward meant for accident victims” he said.

Sudatta Jain said the agitation would continue till the government took steps to improve the conditions at the ESI Hospital. “We want the system of referring workers to private hospitals to be stopped. Workers are suffering because of such an arrangement,” he said.

Superintendent of ESI Hospital Ashok Kumar denied the allegations made by the sangha.

He said there had not been any complaint against the services provided in private hospitals.

He said workers were referred to private hospitals for speciality treatment, which was free of cost.

Tahsildar Ravichandra Nayak had a meeting with the Superintendent and other ESI hospital's administrative staff.

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