Special Correspondent

There is also a plan to start MBBS course from academic year 2010-11

CHENNAI: The Employees State Insurance Corporation (ESI) has identified ESI hospitals in K.K.Nagar and Ayanavaram in Tamil Nadu to start postgraduate degree and diploma courses in various specialisations from the next academic year, subject to the approval of the Medical Council of India.

Nine areas of specialisation have been identified in Ayanavaram hospital and 8 areas in K.K.Nagar hospital. There is also a proposal to start MBBS course in Chennai from the academic year 2010-11.

The aim of the Corporation is to start at least one medical college in each State. Proposals are also there to start nursing colleges and para-medical courses by the Corporation to meet the increasing demand of the medical professionals, ESI Additional Commissioner and Regional Director Saramma Thomas told press persons here on Thursday.

The Corporation at its meeting in New Delhi recently decided to meet the entire expenditure on super speciality treatment of insured persons. Under this tie-up arrangement payment will be made to the hospitals directly by the Corporation. At present the State government was having a similar tie-up with super speciality hospitals and the reimbursement of medical expenses to insured persons were routed through the State government.

As there were complaints of delay in getting the reimbursements by the insured persons, the ESI decided to have direct tie-up with the hospitals. The Corporation decided to enhance the confinement allowance for an insured women or wife of an insured person from Rs 1,000 to Rs 2,500.

Development panels

Admitting that there were dissatisfaction among the insured persons and their dependents over the treatment at ESI hospitals, Ms.Thomas said to look into their general grievances, complaints and difficulties hospital development committee would be set up in each ESI hospital. The committee would be empowered to take administrative as well as financial decisions for improving the functioning of the hospitals and their images.

Appealing to employers and insured persons to make use of the “Amnesty Scheme,” she said though the scheme came into effect from January this year, only 36 out of the 800 cases had availed of the scheme in the first six months.

Under the scheme, employers and employees against whom prosecution had been launched for non-payment of their ESI contribution could avail of the scheme for withdrawal of cases filed against them. The scheme would be in force till the year-end.

In continuation of the ISO 9001-2000 certification obtained by ESI headquarters, all regional offices had decided to get the certification and the Chennai region had already initiated action. The certification audit was scheduled for November this year, she added.