Thousands of employees and workers of Srikakulam district have been waiting in vain for the construction of a 100-bed hospital by the Employees State Insurance Corporation, which functions under the Union Labour Department. As many as 50,000 workers have been discharging their duties in various industries located in Ranasthalam-Pydibhimavaram-Pusapatirega industrial region. Among them, 26,000 workers are collectively paying around ₹1.5 crore yearly as contribution to get medical facilities from the ESIC.
At present, only one ESIC dispensary is there in Pydibhimavaram but it does not have proper infrastructure, leave alone sufficient number of doctors and staff. A diagnostic centre with 10 beds, which was planned a couple of years ago, is not yet ready due to inordinate delay in its construction.
Centre of Indian Trade Unions (CITU) Srikakulam district president Ch. Ammannaidu said that the employees were forced to go to either Vizianagaram or Visakhapatnam for the treatment. “The employees need a 100-bedded hospital with full infrastructure since patients cannot travel long distances. Moreover, emergency medical support is also missing for victims of industrial accidents,” he added.
CITU general secretary of the district P. Tejeswara Rao said that the submission of bills, sanctioning of medical leave and other facilities were not available for the employees. He urged the public representatives to take up the issue seriously and help the employees. Meanwhile, Etcherla MLA Gorle Kirankumar said that the issue would be brought to the notice of the Chief Minister since full-fledged hospital with super-specialists was need of the hour for the industrial region.