BENGALURU: A Parliamentary panel reprimanded Employees State Insurance Corporation (ESIC) for accumulating a sum of `73,303 crore without spending it on workers’ medical needs. However, a look at Karnataka’s fund status shows only 25 per cent of funds remain unspent. There are 154 ESI hospitals in the country out of which 10 hospitals are in Karnataka, and 1,485 dispensaries in the country out of which 110 dispensaries are in the state. ESI is a self-financing social security and health insurance scheme for Indian workers.
Only three of these hospitals come under the Central ESIC and the rest of the seven hospitals and dispensaries come under Employee State Insurance Scheme (ESIS) -- which is state-run. ESIS directorate claims that out of `330 crore, already `310 crore has been spent in the first four months of the current financial year from April to August.
Dr DS Kumar, Director, ESIS Medical Service, Karnataka, said, “There are 30 lakh beneficiaries in the state. The awareness is high about ESIS and 90 per cent of our funds have already been utilised. In fact we requested for an additional `2 crore funds last year but it wasn’t released. Out of `330 crore released by the state government,`310 crore has already been utilised.”
But the two ESIC hospitals in the city say they utilise only 75 per cent of the funds given that runs into approximately `36 crore annually. Dr Jeetendra Kumar, Dean, ESIC Hospital, Rajajinagar, said, “We have utilised 75 per cent of funds released.”The third ESIC medical college-hospital is in Kalaburagi.