BMS seeks relief to ESI beneficiaries hit by COVID

It seeks reimbursement of medical expenses, cash payments, free vaccination for them

The Bharatiya Mazdoor Sangh on Wednesday wrote to Labour Minister Santosh Kumar Gangwar seeking help for those Employees State Insurance beneficiaries who have been affected by COVID-19.

In his letter, BMS general secretary Binoy Kumar Sinha said the pandemic had badly affected the “poor working class who are unable to withstand due to loss of income on one side and the attack of COVID-19 on the other side.”

He said it seemed that no special protections had been extended to those covered under the ESI while they were being deprived of care as ESI hospitals had been converted to dedicated COVID-19 treatment facilities.

He asked the Minister to adopt stop-gap measures to reduce the hardships faced by the workers under the ESI. Among the suggestions were reimbursement of medical expenses from any hospital, irrespective of the fact if it was empanelled or not, cash payments to those who are COVID-19 positive, free of cost vaccination and increasing funeral expenses for those who died of COVID-19 to ₹30,000.

“The BMS demands adequate financial compensation to insured persons and their family members who died due to COVID-19,” it said.

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