ESI hospitals providing healthcare facilities to workers covered under the Employees’ State Insurance Corporation (ESIC) will be soon required to have ISO certification. Minister of state for labour and employment Shri Oscar Fernandes has said that the certification will be made mandatory so that hospitals provide world class medical facilities to workers of both organised as well as unorganised sector. In the first conference of revenue officers of ESIC, the minister said ESIC revenue officers should dedicate themselves to the cause of healthcare of workers and should aim at increasing the number of beneficiaries to at least 4 crores, same as EPF members. The minister added that the doctors and staff at these hospitals would be given special training to meet the shortage of medical personnel in the country. Labour and employment secretary Sudha Pillai said that the government will ensure that the insurance scheme is expanded to new areas. The latest figures show that during 2007-08, the scheme was implemented in 37 new areas covering nearly 98,000 workers. The total number of beneficiaries were 3.94 crore. During the year, contribution income increased to a record high of INR 3,249 crore against the target of INR 2,450 crore, thereby registering an increase of INR 800 crore which is 32.61% higher than the target, Ms Pillai said. The motive of this conference was to interact with field workers and make them aware about their role in the implementation of policies and programmes of the ESIC and the ministry. Insurance inspectors and other officials were also asked to improve efficiency so that delivery system could be improved.