The promulgation of employees’ State Insurance Act, 1948(ESI Act), by the Parliament was the first major legislation on social Security for workers in independent India. It was a time when the industry was still in a nascent stage and the country was heavily dependent on an assortment of imported goods from the developed or fast developing countries. The deployment of manpower in manufacturing processes was limited to a few select industries such as jute, textile, chemicals etc. The legislation on creation and development of a fool proof multi-dimensional Social Security system, when the country’s economy was in a very fledgling state was obviously a remarkable gesture towards the socio economic amelioration of a workface though limited in number and geographic distribution. India, notwithstanding, thus, took the lead in providing organized social protection to the working class through statutory provisions.
The ESI Act 1948, encompasses certain health related eventualities that the workers are generally exposed to; such as sickness, maternity, temporary or permanent disablement, Occupational disease or death due to employment injury, resulting in loss of wages or earning capacity-total or partial. Social security provision made in the Act to counterbalance or negate the resulting physical or financial distress in such contingencies, are thus, aimed at upholding human dignity in times of crises through protection from deprivation, destitution and social degradation while enabling the society the retention and continuity of a socially useful and productive manpower.
Employees’ State Insurance Scheme was launched in the year 1952 under the ESI Act, 1948 at Kanpur and Delhi. Over the years, the Scheme has grown and is now covering nearly 1.95 crores Insured Persons alongwith their families.
Medical Care Services under ESI Scheme are being provided through a network of 148 Hospitals and around 1400 dispensaries all over the country. ESI Medical Scheme provides all types of medical care, i.e, primary, secondary and teritiary services to its clients. At present, the Scheme is functioning in 28 States and Union Territories. The Medical Scheme in the States is administered by the State Govt. except in Delhi where the Scheme is run directly by ESI Corporation. In addition, one Hospital in each State is run directly by ESI Corporation as a Model Hospital.
In the State of Haryana, ESI Scheme started in the year 1958 and as on 31-03-09, it covers 7.42 lacs Insured Persons and their families. The medical services in Haryana at present are being provided through 5 hospitals and 60 dispensaries. Out of 7.42 lac beneficiaries in the State, 3 lac Insured Persons and their families are residing in the city of Gurgaon. Keeping in view, the needs of the ESI Insured Persons of Gurgaon, ESI Corporation has constructed this 100 bedded ESIC Hospital at Gurgaon, (upgradeable to 200 beds). This hospital is being run as Model Hospital for the State of Haryana by ESI Corporation directly.