NFIR – Deficiencies in the Health Care System — Steps needed for removing the hardships faced by the patients
National Federation of Indian Railwaymen
3, CHELMSFORD ROAD, NEW DELHI – 110 055
Affiliated to :
Indian National Trade Union Congress (INTUC)
International Transport Workers’ Federation (ITF)
The Secretary (E),
Sub: Deficiencies in the Health Care System — Steps needed for removing the hardships faced by the patients-reg.
Ref: (i) NFIR’s PNM Item No. 25/2017.
(ii) NFIR’s letter No.I/12/Pt.V dated 09/01/2017, 10/01/2017 & 16/01/2017.
(iii) NFIR’s letter No.II/13(A)/Pt.II dated 15/2/2016 & 23/01/2017.
(iv) NFIR’s letter No. I/12/Pt. V dated 25/01/2017.
Though the NFIR’s PNM Agenda Item No. 25/2017 could not be discussed in the PNM meeting held on 25th/26th April, 2019 due to paucity of time, the Official Side through Action Taken Statement furnished the following position:-
“As per extant policy instructions on Fixed Medical Allowance (FMA), the retirees have to exercise one time option in the prescribed form to avail of medical facility at OPD of Railway Hospitals or FMA. Board’s letter dated 15/07/2002 (RBE No. 107/2002) allows for change in the option only once in lifetime of a pensioner. As Department of Pension and Pensioner’s Welfare (Ministry of Personnel, Public Grievances and Pensions) is the nodal Department on FMA and Ministry of Railways has adopted their instructions on this subject in respect of Railway pensioners, this Ministry is not in position to deviate from the instructions issued by the nodal Department of Government on the subject.”
2. The position as mentioned reveals that the legitimate grievances of Railway pensioners/family pensioners raised in the PNM agenda item have not been addressed. The issues are however listed below again:-
(a) Additional money is being collected from the Cardiac patients towards the difference of cost of Stent in referral hospitals, defeating the policy of free medical treatment to the employees. (serving/retired & their families etc.,).
(b) Additional money collected from Railway patients at referral hospitals for providing treatment or refusing treatment if the patients do not give undertaking that the extra amount beyond CGHS rates shall be paid by the patient.
(c) RELHS members, when directed to referral hospital for treatment as outdoor patient, the referral hospitals advise them to undergo certain tests at diagnostic centres and bring report for further action. The money spent by patient towards the costs of tests done is not being reimbursed as Railway Medical Authorities state that there is no provision for reimbursement in such situations.
(d) Change of residential address by RELHS members:- The Railway Board vide RBE No.107/2002 dated 15-07-2002 had permitted only one time change of residential address during lifetime. This is causing problems to some retired staff who are compelled to shift from their original place of residence to other places more than once due to their personal problems like lack of “care taking facility”, family living at different places.
(e) the employees and RELHS beneficiaries availing treatment in emergencies in private hospitals are facing lot of hardships as the money spent by them for treatment is not fully reimbursed.
(f) It is also noticed that the CGHS rates prescribed in cities like Mumbai, Bengaluru, Kolkata, Hyderabad, Chennai are too low in comparison to CGHS rates applicable in New Delhi and NCR. The staff and RELHS beneficiaries of Mumbai area complain that they are put to disadvantage in comparison with Delhi due to low rates and consequent non-reimbursement of expenditure incurred.
NFIR again requests the Railway Board to address the grievances at (a) to (f) in the para 2 above early and convey action taken to the Federation.