Belagavi (currently under Gulbarga ESIC Regional office) is also one of the top contributors of ESIC at a staggering 1, 20,000 persons covered. Mostly these are Industrial workers from MSME. This organized Manufacturing sector contributes a large amount to the ESIC fund on monthly basis regularly.
ESIC under the aegis of State Government supported by the Central government insures the workers and their families against the cost of Medical Treatment accrued during accidents & illnesses. Hence it is a critical legal provision to protect the rights of the workers to receive the benefit of proper health care.
The Belgaum District Small Scale Industries Association (BDSSIA) represents the MSME’s of Belagavi District. The Belgaum Chamber of Commerce & Industries (BCCI) is the apex body representing all Trade & Industrial enterprises of Belagavi District.
During an occasional visit by members of BDSSIA and some grievances received from Industrial workers, the office bearers & Managing Committee Members of BDSSIA & BCCI have visited and inspected the ESIC hospital facility at Ashok Nagar, Belagavi in the presence of Dr. Shri Prakash Phonde, ESIC Medical Superintendent, ESIC, Belagavi & Shri. Gurvinder Sigh Deputy Director In-charge. ESIC, SRO, Hubli.
Following are the observations regarding the roofing work made during the visit, on Wednesday 14th July 2021.
a) The PWD Department of Hubli has approved the fabrication of structural work and roof of ESIC Hospital to overcome the rain water leakages through the top slab. The top slab is cracked in many places and a sagging.
b) The existing building is 30 years old. They are incorrectly adding 30 tones of structural steel for roofing on the terrace. We have serious doubt over the structural integrity of the existing building and we believe this work being carried out will cause more damage.
c) We were unable to find any building safety / construction feasibility survey done by PWD to carry out this work (which is akin to an extension) which will exert a huge load on the building structure.
d) The Associations have demanded to stop the work until the safety of the structure is proven & the feasibility of the project estimated to be Rs. 1 Crore is justified for the work.
Following are the appalling observations regarding the ESIC Hospital facilities made during the visit, on Wednesday 14th July 2021
a) The OPD, Store Rooms, General wards, staff rooms, & Operation Theatre, washrooms, in-fact the whole hospital is in Poor hygienic conditions owing to water leakage & dampness, improper plumbing, poor housekeeping & maintenance.
b) The basement store rooms were found to have scrap, waste and overrun with rodents and we have heard of occasional sighting of snakes in the basement.
c) The rooms used for the storage of medicines are unfit for the purpose. We found molds, falling plaster, broken door and totally unclean space with pungent odors.
d) The wash rooms for gents & ladies are totally useless as they are under repairs infinitely and are currently being used to store waste materials.
e) We found improperly stored and unattended PPE kits and masks which are critical for fighting the COVID pandemic.
Shri. Gurvinder Sigh, Deputy Director In-charge ESIC, SRO, Hubli agreed to our observations and views that the facility requires upgrade and with very strict management. He has also conveyed this matter to his superiors but awaiting action since long time.
The Present ESIC Hospital at Ashok Nagar hospital has a capacity of 50 beds only & given its conditions, only 3 to 4 patients are admitted on daily basis and rest are diverted to other ESIC Connected Hospitals. This is reduced to only an administrative office rather than a hospital. In the end the workers, employees and their families are the sufferers. This facility has been graced by the visits of MP, State Ministers for Labour, Industry, District In-charge Minister and many others, yet it is in such appalling condition.
For many years the BDSSIA its members and workers at large have been requesting for establishing 500 bed ESIC hospital at Udyambag or Machhe which is accessible to 5 major industrial estates. This issue is still pending and we need to acknowledge its seriousness with respect to the lives of workers, employees and their families.
Further we have submitted the memorandum in this regard to Dr. Shri Prakash Phonde, ESIC Medical Superintendent, ESIC, Belagavi as well as Shri. Gurvinder Sigh Deputy Director In-charge. ESIC, SRO, Hubli.