NFIR – Payment of Fixed Medical Allowance (FMA) — Relaxation of extant instructions
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)
No. II/13A/Part II
The Secretary (E),
Sub: Payment of Fixed Medical Allowance (FMA) — Relaxation of extant instructions-reg.
Ref: (i) Railway Board’s letter No. 97/H/28/1 dated 23/10/1997.
(iii) Railway Board’s letter No. PC-V/98/1/7/1/1 dated 07/02/2008 (RBE No. 22/2008).
(iv) Railway Board’s letter No. PC-V/2006/A/Med/1 dated 15/09/2009 (RBE No. 168/2009),
Kind attention of Railway Board is invited to the instructions issued vide Board’s letter dated 23/10/1997 relating to Retired Employees Liberalized Health Scheme (RELHS). Pursuant to the implementation of 5th CPC recommendations, Railway Board had issued instructions vide dated 21/04/1999 (RBE No. 165/1999) for payment of Medical Allowance @ Rs. 100 per month@ow revised to Rs. 1000 p.m.) to the Railway pensioners/family pensioners who reside outside the jurisdiction of city/town/municipality limit of places where Railway Hospitals/Health Units/lockup dispensaries are available as mentioned in Annexure-III of Board’s letter dated 21/04/1999. Subsequently, Railway Board vide letter dated 01/03/2004 (RBE No. 45/2004) decided that Fixed Medical Allowance is permissible to Railway pensioners/family pensioners residing beyond a distance of 2.5 Kms from Railway Health Unit/Hospital subject to furnishing of an undertaking on the prescribed proforma, which had however been replaced vide Annexure-I of Board’s letter dated 18/10/2004.
Subsequently, Railway Board vide letter dated 15/09/2009 issued clarification that since actual enrolment under the RELHS is not mandatory, those Railway pensioners/family pensioners who in terms of Board’s letter data 15-09-2009, are eligible to become members of the Scheme but are not actually enrolled are also entitled for Fixed Medical Allowance, further clarifying that the pensioners/family pensioners who possess RELHS card but do not avail OPD facility are entitled for Fixed Medical Allowance with the condition that the pensioner/family pensioner is residing beyond 2.5 kms from the nearest Health Unit.
In this connection, Federation desires to state that the phrase “nearest Health Unit” has been very much to the disadvantage of RELHS beneficiaries particularly when they have registered their particulars at a specified Hospital/Health Unit where they may report for availing indoor treatment while at the same time they can draw Fixed Medical Allowance as the said Hospital/Health Unit is beyond 2.5 kilometers from his/her residence. This indicates that registration was done at one Hospital/Health Unit, whereas, nearest Health Unit is located elsewhere which may be within 2.5 kilometers from the place of residence.
Federation feels that in view of the above complicated situation contributing for deprival of Fixed Medical Allowance to the RELHS beneficiaries, the phrase “nearest Health Unit”needs to be deleted thereby if the distance is beyond 2.5 kilometers from the place where the pensioner/family pensioner registered his/her name for the purpose of treatment, they will become entitled for Fixed Medical Allowance (FMA). Further Federation desires to bring to Railway Board’s notice that instructions have been issued by the Railway Board vide letter No.2011/H/28/1/RELHS/court Case dated 31/05/2012 declaring the joining RELHS-97 is mandatory for all retiring Railway pensioners without any exit clause whatsoever, therefore there is sufficient merit for removal of restriction on distance of 2.5 kms.
NFIR, therefore, requests the Railway Board to kindly agree to the above approval and delete the phrase “nearest Health Unit” to make the claims on FMA rational, simple and logical. A copy of the instruction issued may be endorsed to the Federation.