ESI medical college Kerala was incorporated here after signing of the MOU between the state government and ESI Corporation. Even though the signed papers highlight the terms and condition of the existing ESI employees; however, the present government is seeking more time to start the medical college on this single premise. It firsts wants to sort out the issue of employees and then start the medical college.
A report by Express newspaper implied that it has been alleged that the government and the health minister have not been updated on the facts of the issue by the officials in the Secretariat and the Directorate of Medical Education. Another serious allegation has been levied that lobbying by private medical colleges with top officials to sabotage the medical college in the public sector.
Even though the employees of the ESI MC have given their submission of options to the Health Department in terms with MOU; still, the government and the minister both need clarity on the terms and conditions and then settle the issue.
As implied in the MOU, the medical college employees will either be a part of the state government services or repatriated to the ESIC. A written communication was sent by the Medical College Superintendent to the Health Secretary. It detailed out the options for 221 employees. Out of this figure, 191 staff members chose the option to be with ESIC. 27 medical staff chose Kerala State Service. 3 staff members did not make an option.
When contacted, Health Minister K K Shylaja, who seemed unaware of the MoU and the latest position of the MC, said to the Express that: “The main issue now is related to the benefits regarding the staff of ESIC when taken into the state service.” When told that this was already mentioned in the MoU, she only said that the Government was looking forward to see how the present issue of the employees could be settled.
Making it obvious that the Minister had been misled by the officials, she said that the bylaws of the ESIC and Government Medical College were different, but did not mention the MoU.
Asked about the allegations that certain private medical colleges were creating hurdles, she said: “I have also heard of such allegations. Let them play, but it will not succeed with this government.”