Employees’ State Insurance Corporation (ESIC) during its 184th Meeting held on 22.02.2021 under the chairmanship of Shri Santosh Kumar Gangwar, Minister of State for Labour& Employment (Independent Charge), Govt. of India has taken several significant decisions to improve its service delivery mechanism and to strengthen the medical infrastructure benefiting its Insured Workers.
Relaxation in contributory conditions to avail Sickness Benefit to the Insured Women availing Maternity Benefit
After the enhancement in the duration of maternity benefit from earlier 12 weeks to 26 weeks, in some cases Insured Women were not eligible to avail sickness benefit in the corresponding benefit period after availing maternity benefit as the mandatory contributory conditions of minimum 78 days were not met being the Insured Women under receipt of maternity benefit and leave.
In such cases, it has been now decided that an Insured Women will be qualified to claim sickness benefit in the corresponding benefit period if the contribution in her respect were paid or payable for not less than half the number of days available for working in such shorter contribution period.
The relaxation will be effective from 20.01.2017 i.e. the date from which the enhanced duration of Maternity Benefit is effective.
Relaxation in contributory conditions to avail Sickness & Maternity Benefits for the benefit period of January to June’2021
The country was placed into lockdown to curb the spread of the Covid-19 pandemic, which resulted in the closure of factories/establishments for several months. It resulted in non-entitlement to avail sickness & maternity benefits for many Insured Persons/Women as the mandatory days of contribution couldn’t be met. Considering the hardship being faced by Insured Persons, ESIC has now decided to extend the relief to the IPs by relaxing the contributory conditions for availing the Sickness & Maternity Benefits for the benefit period of 01.01.2021 to 30.06.2021.
Now, an Insured Woman will be entitled to avail Maternity Benefit, if the contributions in respect of her were payable not less than 35 days in immediately preceding two consecutive contribution periods.
In case of IPs/IWs appointed before the contribution period April-September, 2020 , the eligibility condition to avail sickness benefit will be decided on the basis of their contribution in previous contribution period i.e. September ’19 to March ‘2020,whereas, the IPs/IWs appointed during the contribution period April-September, 2020 will be eligible for sickness benefit in the benefit period January-June ‘2021 if contribution in respect of them were payable for not less than half the number of days available for working to them during the contribution period April-September ‘2020.
ESIC to construct 300 bedded Hospital including 50 Super Specialty beds at Haridwar, Uttarakhand:
To meet the medical services needs of IPs in Haridwar&surrounding districts, the ESI Corporation has decided to construct 300 bedded ESIC Hospital including 50 bedded Super Specialty beds & Staff Quarters in 5 acres of land at Haridwar, Uttarakhand. After construction, the hospital will provide medical care services to around 2.55 lakh Insured Workers & their family members
ESIC to construct 350 bedded Hospital with an additional 50 bedded SST wing at Vishakhapatnam, Andhra Pradesh:
Keeping its firm to provide good medical healthcare benefits to the Insured workers and to strengthen its medical care infrastructure, the ESI Corporation has approved the project of construction of 350 bedded Hospital with an additional 50 bedded SST Wing and 128 Staff Quarters in a plot area of 8.72 acres (approx.) at Sheelanagar, Vishakhapatnam. The proposed hospital, after construction, will provide medical services to around 14 lakh beneficiaries covered under ESI Scheme in Vishakhapatnam & surrounding areas.
Establishment of Negative Pressure ICU at ESIC Super Specialty Hospital & Medical College at Hyderabad, Telangana:
The decision to establish Negative Pressure ICU at ESIC Super Specialty Hospital & Medical College at Hyderabad, Telangana was also taken during the meeting. The establishment of a Negative Pressure ICU will decrease the burden of infection to the healthcare workers and will also decrease secondary infections to other critically ill patients admitted in the ICU.
Approval of Revised Estimates & Budget Estimates for the year 2020-21 & 2021-22 and Performance Budget for the year 2021.22 of ESIC:
The ESI Corporation has also approved the Revised Estimates & Budget Estimates for the year 2020-21 & 2021-22 and Performance Budget for the year 2021-22 during the meeting.
Besides these, around 25 other agenda items pertaining to improvement in service delivery mechanisms were also reported and approved.
The other dignitaries to grace the occasion were Shri Apurva Chandra, Secretary, Ministry of Labour& Employment, Govt. of India, Smt. Anuradha Prasad, Additional Secretary, MoLE, GoI& Director General, ESIC, Hon’ble members of ESI Corporation, Smt. Sandhya Shukla, Financial Commissioner, ESIC, Smt. Garima Bhagat, CVO, ESIC, and many others.