`ESI corporation should run hospitals directly'

Staff Reporter

ALAPPUZHA: The State committee of the Insurance Medical Services Staff Confederation has demanded that the Employees' State Insurance Corporation (ESI Corporation) directly run its district-level hospitals and dispensaries in the State.

`Though the buildings and equipment of ESI hospitals in the State are owned by the ESI Corporation itself at present, the hospitals are being run by the State Labour Department,' noted the confederation.' The staff also come under the Labour Department. Rajesh Kesavan, general convener of the confederation, said though ESI project had 7.5 lakh members in the State, the services of ESI hospitals were being utilised by only 2.5 lakh people on an average.

Mr. Keshavan said the reluctance of members of ESI project to utilise its services was because of the lack of facilities at ESI hospitals. According to Mr. Kesavan, several departments at ESI hospitals lacked sufficient number of doctors. At the same time huge amounts were being spent on needless construction work at ESI hospitals, added Mr. Kesavan. He noted that the condition of ESI hospitals in the State was sub-standard. The ESI hospital, Kollam, being run directly by the ESI Corporation, was providing satis factory services.

In the light of that experience, it would be better if hospitals were run directly by the corporation, he added.