Two years after a 21-year-old woman died after childbirth at the Indiranagar ESI Hospital owing to the lack of an Intensive Care Unit (ICU), the hospital has finally got one. Earlier, critical patients from this 300-bed hospital were referred to private and Government hospitals for intensive care.

Labour Minister B.N. Bache Gowda, who inaugurated the 10-bed facility on Thursday, said Indiranagar ESI Hospital was the first ESI hospital in the State to get an ICU.

Although the equipment for the ICU was procured several months ago, the inauguration was put on hold because of shortage of anaesthetists. Director of ESI Scheme's Medical Services Rahimunnisa told The Hindu that eight anaesthetists had been recruited, taking the total number of anaesthetists in the hospital to 12.

‘Fully equipped'

“This hospital is fully equipped to handle all kinds of emergencies now. The ICU, set up at a cost of Rs. 2 crore, has 10 beds with two step-down beds,” she said.

Speaking on the occasion, Mr. Bache Gowda said the Labour Department had started upgrading the ESI Corporation's Model Hospital in Rajajinagar.

“We are adding a postgraduate centre at Rajajinagar, a Medical College at Gulbarga ESIC and a 100-bed multi-speciality hospital in Peenya Industrial area. Another 100-bed hospital will be set up at Bommasandra Industrial area and Doddaballapura-Yelahanka Industrial area,” he said. “We have a tie-up with 51 private hospitals and nursing homes in places where there are no ESI hospitals or where facilities are not available,” the Minister said. The Government has extended ESI facilities to construction workers, staff working in private nursing homes, schools and colleges, he said.

More dispensaries

To ensure more people are covered under ESI, the Government will soon start 10 new ESI dispensaries and split five existing dispensaries that are catering to more than 30,000 employees.

More doctors and para-medical staff will be recruited through the Karnataka Public Service Commission, he added.

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