The central government has announced that it will extend the Employees State Insurance (ESI) scheme to Arunachal Pradesh, Manipur and Mizoram by December 31. These were the remaining states of the northeast region so far uncovered by the central scheme.
"Currently, the scheme is not available in Arunachal Pradesh, Mizoram and Manipur. We will extend the facilities to workers of these states too by the end of this year," union Labour Minister Bandaru Dattatreya.
The ESIC targets enhancement of health coverage from current eight crore beneficiaries to 25-30 crore by April 2016.
Dattatreya also announced extension of the scheme to unorganized workers like auto-rickshaw and car drivers and rickshaw-pullers in a phased manner. In the first phase, 24 dispensaries, run by the Employees State Insurance Corporation (ESIC), would be upgraded to 30-bedded hospitals. By the end of this year, oncology and cardiology treatment would also be provided in ESIC hospitals.
He said dialysis facility too would be started on public-private-partnership model. A new medical college would be functional in Faridabad from October 1, and another in Hyderabad in 2016. A medical college each in Bihar and Rajasthan have also been proposed.
In line with the 'Swacch Bharat' initiative, he said ESIC hospitals would be provided with seven different colored bed-sheets for seven days of the week under an initiative called 'Indradhanush' (rainbow).