In a letter to the Union labour minister seeking his intervention, Bharatiya Mazdoor Sangh (BMS) alleged that workers and their families insured under the Employees' State Insurance (ESI) scheme are not getting treatment, vaccination, or admission to designated COVID-19 hospitals.
The letter stated that in the course of a review meeting held on Thursday, May 22, the organisation found reports that were “very much disappointing in respect of vaccination, admission to Covid designated ESIC Hospital and treatment of IP’s (insured persons) in ESIC dispensaries in most of the region of ESIC during such a pandemic” (sic).
The letter, signed on Sunday, April 25 by BMS general secretary Binoy Kumar Sinha, was addressed to the Labour and Employment Minister Santosh Kumar Gangwar.
Seeking the minister’s intervention, the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS)-affiliated workers’ union demanded “immediate redressal”. The trade union body has demanded that at least 50% beds with facilities like oxygen, ventilator and medicines in such hospitals be kept especially for insured persons (workers under ESI).
The letter claimed that ESIC hospitals, dedicated as Covid hospital, is controlled by respective District Magistrate. Thus, where ESIC authorities deny medical services to the insured, Labour Ministry should take it up with the Home Ministry to “avoid dual administration and undue interference in ESIC functioning”, the BMS letter said.
General-secretary of Left-leaning Centre of Indian Trade Unions (CITU), Tapan Sen, also claimed that insured workers were not getting proper medical attention at such hospitals.
“We have taken it up with the ESIC (Employees' State Insurance Corporation),” Sen said, adding, “however, there has been no response yet.”