"The wider access initiative aims to provide medical facilities to potential ESI beneficiaries under the general health system in areas where it may not be feasible for state governments to provide medical facilities for ESI beneficiaries through ESI system," Minister of State for Labour and Employment Bandaru Dattatreya informed Lok Sabha in a written reply.

"A concept note on this initiative was circulated to all the states for obtaining their in-principle consent to implement it.
"The governments of Karnataka and Chhattisgarh have agreed to implement the initiative on pilot basis and accordingly identified two areas each," Dattatreya said.
The minister said that wider access initiative is available to all the states that may wish to implement it in areas of their choice.

He said the state governments are required to ensure availability of dedicated primary and secondary health care facilities for ESI beneficiaries in an area before it is brought under the coverage of the ESI Act.

At times the state governments face difficulty in providing such dedicated medical care facilities because of  non-availability of adequate number of ESI beneficiaries required for opening the dispensary in the area or for other reasons, Dattatreya said.

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