We have come to know that, in a Video Conference, held on 2nd November, 2020, your goodself, while critically analyzing the issues related to the healthcare of the Railwaymen and medical facilities available for them, had issued certain directions to improve upon medical services of the Indian Railways and to substantially reduce expenditure thereon. …..
No.AIRF/101 Dated: November 19, 2020
Shri Piyush Goyal Ji,
Hon’ble Minister for Railways,
Sub: Video Conference held on 2nd November, 2020 by your goodself on medical issues
We have come to know that, in a Video Conference, held on 2nd November, 2020, your goodself, while critically analyzing the issues related to the healthcare of the Railwaymen and medical facilities available for them, had issued certain directions to improve upon medical services of the Indian Railways and to substantially reduce expenditure thereon.
Your goodself is aware that, working of the Indian Railways and Railwaymen is unique and peculiar in nature due to trains being operated 24X7X365 in all weathers and seasons. This warranted unique and separate medical facilities for the Railwaymen, which provide a large spectrum of facilities; that includes, preventive healthcare, normal medication, emergent treatment, initial and periodical examination of the staff, health and family hygiene and to ensure proper and hygienic quality of food at the Railway Stations and Establishments.
Serving as well as Retired Railway Employees(REHLS Optees) and their family members are entitled for their complete healthcare and full treatment in the Railway Hospitals as well as Empanelled Referral Specialized Hospitals. We are 100% in agreement with your views that, Railway Medical Beneficiaries should be treated in the Railway Hospitals to the maximum possible extent, for which, in-house facilities in these hospitals are available. However, only in cases where some Specialized Medical Management is required, which is not available in the Railway Hospitals, then only Railway Patients are referred to these Empanelled Referral Specialized Hospitals, where also they are treated at the CGHS Rates only. Unfortunately, directives issued by your goodself in the Video Conference held on 2nd November, 2020 are being misinterpreted and spreading a wrong message that, no Railway Patient should be referred to any Empanelled Referral Specialized Hospital for treatment and they should be treated in the Railway Hospital itself. It is further being spread that, even if any Railway Patient is at all required to be referred, it should be referred to only those hospitals which are being recognized by Ayushman Bharat Pradhan Mantri Jan Arogya Yojana (ABPMJAY).
You may kindly further appreciate that, Railwaymen have achieved this peculiar facility only because of their peculiar and unmatched working conditions, and around 400-500 Railwaymen sacrifice their lives, while performing their duties, every year, on an average, to keep the wheels of the Indian Railways running and maintain the lifeline of the country. Recently, more than 200 Railwaymen have lost their lives, due to COVID-19 Pandemic, while operating and maintaining Railway System, which is the highest casualty among all the Government Departments. At this juncture, Railwaymen are dedicating their lives and working with full sincerity and devotion, snatching Referral Facility to Empanelled Specialized Hospitals in emergency, without consulting Organized Labour, would prove to be extremely de-motivational and not appreciable.
Though, we agree that, there should not be any misuse of Referral Facility to Specialized Hospital, however, in emergencies this must be continued.
We sincerely hope that, necessary clarification in regard to the above would be communicated to all the Medical Authorities down the line, so that, there should not be any confusion and industrial unrest at any point of time.