'100-bed' ESI hospital in Tirupati remains a dream even after 4 years

100-bed ESI hospital in Tirupati remains a dream even after 4 years
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A view of the ESI hospital in Tirupati

Highlights

Tirupati: Even after four years of the inauguration of the new 100-bed ESI hospital building in Tirupati, it still remains to be a 50-bed hospital....

Tirupati: Even after four years of the inauguration of the new 100-bed ESI hospital building in Tirupati, it still remains to be a 50-bed hospital. With the negligence of the government, the hospital is surrounded by various problems and the ESI beneficiaries have become the victims and are facing hardships in getting the services.

The construction works for the Rs 110 crore building in a sprawling 3.75 acre with 100 beds was completed in September 2018 after much delay. The Central government has constructed the building and handed it over to the state government. Though the state government has to recognise it as a 100 bed hospital and provide the amenities accordingly, it was not done till now. There are still some works pending in the renovated building.

It became insufficient to meet the requirements of the beneficiaries. According to sources, it is expected to cater the needs of around 4.5 lakh insured persons in Rayalaseema and Nellore districts. Though the new building has all prerequisites to be made a 100-bed hospital, government's apathy has become a curse to its development.

Also, after the construction of the new building, the central labour department has to dismantle the old building and build a modern OP block there. But, nothing has moved in this direction. There are several vacancies in doctors, nursing and other posts due to which it could not function with its full capacity.

The non-availability of several important drugs and diagnostic services has become another problem for the patients. Except for some basic diagnostic services, no other services are made available at the hospital. Even for the common blood and urine tests, the required reagents are not being supplied by the government. The CT scan and MRI scan facilities have become a distant dream.

Further, ESI beneficiaries have become unable to get the medical services at the SVIMS hospital since July 2022 because of the tariff issue. While SVIMS has been wanting the ESI Corporation to agree to its own tariff which is said to be 25 per cent higher than the Central Government Health Scheme (CGHS), ESIC was saying that it could not agree to it.

SVIMS has written to ESIC authorities to enter into an MoU with agreeing to its tariff. As ESIC has not come forward, it has stopped services to ESI beneficiaries from July 7 and the stalemate is still continuing. This has been causing various problems for the patients who used to avail dialysis and other services on a regular basis at the SVIMS. The patients were being sent to other private hospitals much to their dissatisfaction.

ESI beneficiaries are having several hopes that the ongoing national conference of Labour ministers will discuss this issue also which is crucial and needs to be addressed by centre and state governments together.

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