Industrial workers not getting timely treatment despite paying premium

The South India Hosiery Manufacturers Association (SIHMA) deplored the inadequate infrastructure and staff shortage at the two ESI dispensaries in Tirupur.

This concern was highlighted in the memorandum the Association submitted to the Employees State Insurance Corporation (ESIC) Insurance Commissioner B. K. Sahu during the official's visit here on Wednesday.

“It has been over three decades that only two ESI dispensaries exist in Tirupur knitwear cluster despite the exponential growth registered by the hub during the period and the workforce getting multiplied in tandem with the industrial progress,” SIHMA general secretary V. Ponnusamy said.

He pointed out that even the two dispensaries had been experiencing shortage of doctors and para medical staff, which is preventing the industrial workers from getting timely treatment despite them paying premium under the ESI scheme.

Since both the dispensaries did not have in-patient facilities, the insured persons were forced to travel nearly 50 km to the ESI specialty hospital situated at Singanallur in Coimbatore district to get treated for severe health ailments.

The SIHMA reiterated the need to expedite the planned ESI multi-specialty hospital in Tirupur, which did not materialise due to various reasons despite that the project was conceptualised many years ago.

“The Tirupur knitwear cluster deserves a multi-specialty ESI hospital as about 1.5 lakh workers have been enrolled under the ESI scheme and more than 50 percent of the revenue realised by ESIC from Coimbatore region comes from Tirupur alone,” Mr. Ponnusamy pointed out.

Another issue raised by SIHMA was the location of the present two ESI dispensaries. “Both are situated in the northern part of Tirupur even though the worker concentration is more in the southern side.

Hence, patients are finding it difficult to crisscross the city to reach the dispensaries owing to frequent traffic snarls,” Mr. Ponnusamy noted.