Punjab government has failed to utilize funds to the tune of Rs 487.93 crore allocated under employees state insurance (ESI) scheme in the last four years, depriving health services to the insured workers.
Shortage of doctors and other paramedics staff in ESI hospital and dispensaries is the reason why the ESI funds were not utilized.
Against the sanctioned strength of 630 medical officers and other staff, the ESI hospitals and dispensaries are managing with just 445. In the last four years, the state was entitled to Rs 1,095.8 crore, of which it could utilize only Rs 607.87 crore.
The state government has also not been able to get the funds it is entitled from ESI Corporation for running ESI hospital and dispensaries. Of the total expenditure, the state government contributes only 12.5% while remaining 87.5% is borne by ESI. There are six ESI hospitals, including a 100-bedded hospital in Ludhiana, and 69 dispensaries.
A senior health official said that the health department gives priority to filling up the vacant posts in civil hospitals. The cumbersome process involved for appointments is said to complete.
Source: Times of India