Northern Railway Pensioner Welfare Association has alleged that the railways has adopted lackadaisical attitude over their demands of improving the services at railway health unit, Ludhiana.
The association said that after raising their demands before Ferozepur division, they shot off letters to railway board, New Delhi, and even prime minister's office (PMO), but now the Ferozepur division has got a reply from the railway board to look into the matter.
The pensioners' demands include making this health unit a super speciality hospital and also raising the medicine purchase limit at local level from Rs 500 to Rs 2000.
The association says it struggled at local level and then divisional level but as Ferozepur division claimed it was out of its jurisdiction to raise the purchase limit of buying medicines, the association took its demands to railway board, railway minister and also the PMO.
Association's chairman Sher Singh says he has got a copy of reply in which chief medical officer, health department, Baroda House, New Delhi, has asked the divisional manager, Ferozepur, to look into their demands. "If the matter could have resolved at divisional level, why would we move railway board or PMO? Railway is least bothered to improve the services, that's why they are adopting lackadaisical approach," said Sher Singh.
"Ferozepur Division has already told us that raising the purchase limits of medicine is not in their jurisdiction and it could be done by railway board only. But instead of issuing genuine guidelines, they have again directed the Ferozepur division to look into the matter," said association's general secretary BR Dhawan.
"Pensioners have to make rounds of the railway health unit eight to 10 times a month as they are not provided with enough stock of medicines. The railway health unit's medical officer has the power to purchase medicines worth `500 (per category). The medicines like for heart disease, diabetes etc are costly, thus not all patients are able to get enough medicines, said Sher Singh.
The pensioners also want the railways to tie up with a local super specialty hospital for emergency medical services. Besides, they seek services like ultrasound and other tests at the railway hospital.
Divisional Railway Manager (DRM) Ferozepur Division Anuj Prakash said, "Though I haven't received any direction from the railway board till now, I am aware about the demands of the pensioners. These demands are genuine. I have already communicated for it with the railway board, New Delhi."
He said the authority of raising local purchase limit of medicines is not under his power, that's why he brought the matter into notice of the higher authorities.
For the local tie up of super specialty hospital with Ludhiana health unit, DRM Anuj Prakash said, "The work for the same is already in progress and hope it will get materialise soon."