The proposed tie up of the Railway health unit Ludhiana with a private hospital didn’t materialise, leaving the long-pending demand of the pensioners hanging again.
Dr Chetna, medical superintendent of railway health unit, Ludhiana, said, “Ludhiana Railway health unit was trying to get a tie up with Oswal Hospital, but at the last moment terms and conditions were changed by the Oswal Hospital, which hanged the things further.”
“Now, the new proposals of the tie up with other hospitals have been sent to the headquarters, and this process can take six more months. Pensioners’ organisations of Ludhiana Railways have highlighted the issue with higher authorities, but to no avail,” Chetna said.
MS Gill, president of All India Retired Railway Men’s Federation, Ludhiana, said, “We have given our blood and flesh to the railways during our years of service. Now, when we are demanding our right to medical facilities, Railway has nothing to provide us, not even an ambulance or tie up with better hospital in case of emergencies.”
He said even list of chronic diseases had been shortened, and several diseases that an oldage person could suffer from have not been included in the list. The demand of specialist doctors had been pending since long, he added.
The hospital was also not doing various tests for which, patients had to go to other hospitals. The association demanded that quarterly test of blood, urine, lipid profile and ultrasound tests be done at the hospital.
But chief medical superintendent (CMS) Fero z e pur Division, Dr Mool Narayan, said, “How can we provide ultrasound facilities, when we have no radiologist? Moreover, there is no provision of specialist doctors under the Railway Act in health units, then how the pensioners can blame us for this?”
He said tie up with a private hospital and providing ambulance service was under process, but that was also delaying because most of the organisations were afraid of the Railway Employees’ Union, as in the past they had created nuisance.
He said recently Ferozepur Railway division had floated a tender notice to provide ambulance service at six stations, including Ludhiana, Jalandhar, Amritsar, Jammu, Udhampur and Pathankot, but no one turned up. Now, this tender would be floated again with some changes, he added.
Dr Mool Narayan said the department was doing its best to provide better medical facilities to pensioners and employees, but nothing beyond the railway act could be provided.
NO REPLY TO RTI
All India Retired Railway Men’s Federation has filed an RTI’s to chief medical director of the Northern Railway and Divisional Railway Manager on September 12, 2013 and to the ministry of railways, general manager of Northern Railway on September 13, 2013. It’s copies were sent also to MP Manish Tewari and to director general medical of Northern Railways, but didn’t get a single reply.
MS Gill, president of All India Retired Railway Men’s Federation, sent an RTI to the ministry of railways on May 8 again. He said perhaps the ministry was not providing the necessary medical facilities, thus they were not replying to the RTI.