- The Employees’ State Insurance Act, 1948 is a social security legislation that provides for certain benefits to employees in case of sickness, maternity and employment injury and to make provision for certain other matters in relation thereto.
- The Rashtriya Swasthya Bima Yojana Scheme has already become operational with effect from 1.4.2008. The Scheme has picked up momentum. Almost all the States have agreed to implement the Scheme and a majority of them have already advertised for the implementation of the same. More than 1.25 lakh smart cards have been issued by 15.6.2008.
- This number at present has risen to over 2 lakhs. Some recipients of these cards have already been assisted by way of hospitalisation. It is, therefore, considered essential and urgent to enable Employees’ State Insurance Corporation to participate in the Scheme with immediate effect. By providing health services to the unorganised sector workers under the Rashtriya Swasthya Bima Yojana Scheme, both the unorganised sector workers and the Employees’ State Insurance Corporation will benefit by the Employees’ State Insurance Corporation making available its vast network of hospitals for providing medical care on user charges, wherever the same are underutilised. In view of the urgency as pointed out above, the Employees' State Insurance (Amendment) Ordinance, 2008 was promulgated on the 3rd July, 2008.
The salient features of the said Ordinance are as follows:—
- it empowers the Central Government to frame Schemes for any other person who is not insured under the Employees’ State Insurance Act, 1948 also to avail the medical facility in the Employees’ State Insurance run hospitals;
- the facilities to other persons shall be given in the underutilised hospitals which are not fully utilised by the Employees’ State Insurance beneficiaries;
- for availing medical facilities, the other persons shall pay the charges as may be notified by the Corporation in consultation with the Central Government from time to time;
the Scheme shall provide the time and manner in which the medical facilities may be availed by other beneficiaries. It shall also provide for the form in which the beneficiary shall furnish particulars about himself and his family members whenever required by the Corporation.
The Bill seeks to replace the aforesaid Ordinance.