ET Bureau|Aug 06, 2019, 08.07 PM IST

The Delhi Medical Association has written to labour minister Santosh Kumar Gangwar protesting against new selection norms of ESIC which it alleges has been floated to help only big/corporate-run hospitals and eliminate small hospitals and nursing homes. 

"We are quite surprised to note in the tender notice dated July 8, 2019 the eligibility criteria for participating in the said tender process is per se arbitrary, discriminatory and appears to have been tailor made to suit large hospitals/ established chains and to eliminate small medical establishments," DMA said in a letter dated July 29 to the labour minister. 

DMA has objected to the mandatory requirement of NABL/NABH accreditation for healthcare organisation as the recommended bodies are private bodies and have no connection with the ESIC of government of India. 

"It is not understood as to how a government body like ESIC can mandatorily require a certification from a private body as a precondition for empanelment," the DMA letter said. 

The DMA has protested against a minimum requirement of 100 beds for multi-specialty hospitals and 50 beds for single specialty or super specialty healthcare organisations under new selection process. 

"By incorporating a minimum 100 beds, ESIC has eliminated small , yet efficient hospitals/ nursing homes which are providing state of the art medical care to their patients. This condition is not only discriminatory and without any specific basis but has also limited the number of eligible hospitals to a fraction, thereby denying better options to patients," the letter said. 

The new empanelment tender also provides to pay empanelled HCO (health care organisation) at CGHS rates while currently diagnostic services like radiology and pathology services are already being sourced by DMD/model hospitals of ESIC at a discount in the range of 10-25% for long time. This may lead to avoidable loss of crores to ESIC and exchequer. This decision has been taken without approval from ESIC headquarters.