Unorganised Sector Workers to get ESIC Medicare Facilities
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22 March 2010
Millions of workers in the unorganised sector would be able to take advantage of the ESIC medicare facilities with the government today deciding to amend the Employees' State Insurance Act 1948 to significantly enhance the social security coverage.
A decision to amend the existing Act to ensure effective implementation of the Employees' State Insurance Scheme was taken at a meeting of the Union Cabinet chaired by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh.
The facilities of ESIC would now be extended to workers in the unorganised sector under Rashtriya Swasthya Bima Yojana by making optimum use of under-utilised hospitals and dispensaries of ESI Corporation, sources said.
It would apply to all places where ten or more workers are employed.
Besides extending the benefits to dependants of the insured
persons to 25 years from the present 18 years, it would provide benefits to workers for accidents while commuting to-and-fro from the place of work.
The ESIC would be empowered to enter into an agreement with any local authority, local body or private body for commissioning or running ESI hospitals through third party participation for providing medical treatment and attendance to insured persons, the sources said.
The state governments, with the prior approval of the Centre, would be able to set up autonomous organisations on the pattern of ESIC, they said.
A Bill to amend the ESI Act 1948 would be brought before Parliament, they added.