Plea for medical insurance to railway employees, pensioners

KT NEWS SERVICE. Dated: 12/2/2020 10:30:01 AM

NEW DELHI, Dec 1: Apropos the Railway Board's decision to extend the medical insurance scheme to the railway employees and pensioners, its employees' union has pleaded that the Railways should bear the premium.
The Indian Railways Technical Supervisors Association has also urged to continue the treatment in the existing Indian Railways' hospitals and extend the insurance as an additional facility for regular treatment, including OPD and IPD, in the empanelled private hospitals.
In an appeal to the Railway Board, its general secretary Harchandan Singh points out that the Indian Railways Medical Service (IRMS) is spread across the length and breadth of the country, with 125 hospitals and 586 dispensaries, manned by 33,300 staff, catering to approximately 66 lakh beneficiaries, including 12.27 lakh serving employees, as part of the service conditions.
In the year 2018-19, the Railway Hospitals treated 2.01 crore OPD patients, 5.08 lakh in-patients and performed 1.02 lakh major and specialty surgeries. The Indian Railways total medical services expenses for the year 2018-19 including cost of medical staff is Rs. 6888.34 crore. That makes average medical expense per beneficiary as Rs.10,500.
Noting that no insurance company in india handles 66 lakh beneficiaries, the association said the insurance cover is basically extended to the in-patient treatment and surgeries, with a ceiling based on the premium paid. The retired hands and their dependents get the railway hospital facilities on a one-time payment.
It sought to add more private empanelled hospitals for the cashless treatment, pointing out that a large number of serving and retired beneficiaries live in suburbs and it is cumbersome for them to go to the railway hospital for reference to the private hospital and in many cases precious golden hours are lost in mere formalities endangering the life.
The association also sought extension of the private hospital facility for the outpatients since the beneficiaries living in faraway places from the railway hospitals find it difficult to get their regular and minor treatments.



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