“All over the world, there is no such social security scheme as ESIC,” – says the Regional Director.
Merchants’ Chamber of Commerce & Industry organised a Session on the “Role of ESIC in Labour Welfare and Social Security” on 5 February, 2024 at the Conference Hall of the Chamber.
The Session was addressed by Shri Amrish Kumar Sharma, Regional Director, West Bengal & Sikkim Region, Employees’ State Insurance Corporation.
Shri Amrish Kumar Sharma, Regional Director, West Bengal & Sikkim Region, Employees’ State Insurance Corporation in his address said that ESIC plays a very crucial multidimensional role in labour welfare and social security. ESIC provides the IP and his family 5 basic benefits such as Medical Benefits, Sickness Benefits, Disablement Benefits, Dependents Benefits, and Maternity Benefits and now also delivers benefits like Unemployment Allowance – Rajiv Gandhi Shramik Kalyan Yojana (RGSKY) and Atal Beemit Vyakti Kalyan Yojana (ABVKY), COVID-19 Relief Scheme (CRS), Confinement Expenses, Funeral Expenses, Vocational Training, Rehabilitation Expenses and Artificial limbs. In West Bengal, there are 21,43,505 total insured workers under the ESIC scheme.
Shri Sharma informed that employers should register their employees through online mode and there is no requirement of documentation. The employer should complete registration for the employee within 10 days from the applicability. He further mentioned that with e-pehchan card of the IP, under section 2(11), the family of the IP will be eligible for medical facilities from day one of insurable employment. ESIC scheme also secures that the dependants are eligible for Dependents benefits in case of death of IP due to employment injury.
In the context of medical benefits, Shri Sharma enlightened that ESIC has its own hospitals and medical colleges and it also ties up with the renowned private hospitals for better treatment of IPs. In the case of Super-Specialty Treatment, Shri Sharma stated that injured IP will be eligible for SST treatment from the first day itself and irrespective of any contributory condition and on emergency can be directly taken to any of the Tie-up Hospital for treatment and the formality of Referral can be taken later. He also said that in maternity benefit, IP is getting the total wage for the 6 months during her leave.
In his Welcome Address, Shri Smarajit Mitra, Chairman, Council on HR & Skill Development, MCCI deliberated that till September, 2023 there are at present 161 ESI hospitals and 1574 ESI dispensaries across the country and the total number of insured persons eligible for ESI benefits are 385.16 Lakhs.
Shri Mitra further highlighted that all ESI hospitals are not multidisciplinary hospitals. Some ESI hospitals do not have proper diagnostic facilities which forces the employees to depend upon private clinics at a higher cost. Besides, reimbursement of medical bills is a complex and time-consuming process, much to the harassment of the beneficiaries.
The Session was concluded with the hearty Vote of Thanks proposed by Shri Tushar Basu, Co-Chairman, Council on HR & Skill Development, MCCI.