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Master Circular No. 45

Indigenous system of medicine - Homeopathic/Ayurvedic dispensaries

At present, the orders relating to indigenous system of medicine on the Railways and opening of Homeopathic/Ayurvedic Dispensaries/Centres are scattered in a number of Circulars/Orders issued from time to time. The question of consolidation of these existing Orders/Circulars into one compendium has been under consideration of the Ministry of Railways. They have now decided to issue a consolidated Order on the subject, as below, for information and guidance of all concerned.

2. The Railway Reforms Committee, vide their recommendation No. 69 had observed that in view of the popularity of low-cost therapy and the fact that the Government of India have accepted them as an integral part of country's health care programme, and in pursuance of this it was decided that Railways should encourage indigenous system of medicine. Hence, it was decided, vide Railway Board's letter no. E(W)79 WE 1-11 dated 26.08.1979 that expenditure on Homeopathic dispensaries might be incurred from the Staff Benefit Fund subject to a maximum of Rs.800/- per month. The question of raising the ceiling limit was considered subsequently and it was decided that total expenditure inclusive of Doctor's honorarium, salaries of other staff and cost of medicine on one Homeopathic dispensary where about 100 employees were treated daily should be raised from Rs. 800/-to Rs.1000/- provided the Railways manage the additional expenditure from their own Staff Benefit Fund allocation without additional grants being sanctioned for the same. With a view to encouraging indigenous system of medicine, it was later decided, vide Railway Board's letter No. E(W)88 WE 1-16 dated 21.03.1989 (RBE 82/1989) that an amount of Rs. 0.75P per capita may be spent from SBF on promotion of indigenous system of medicine. It was decided that physicians engaged on full-time basis would be paid Rs. 1000/- per month and those on the part-time bias would be paid Rs. 500/- per month. The dispensers/helpers engaged in these dispensaries were also entitled to be paid honorarium as might be fixed by the respective Staff Benefit Fund Committee. The Railways were also instructed vide letter no. E(W)87 WE 1- 5 dated 26.05.1987 that to give encouragement to the indigenous medical system, Railways might consider opening of additional Homeopathic/ Ayurvedic dispensaries under the S.B.F. as per the needs of the situation. However, these dispensaries could be located in Railway hospitals/health units - themselves by making available suitable accommodation. It was also impressed upon the Railways vide letter No. E(W)87 WE 1- 5 dated 15.06.1987 (RBE 153/1987) that in the first phase, 18 additional Homeopathic/Ayurvedic Centres might be set up and in the second phase, 4 centres should be opened, i. e. 3 new Homeopathic/Ayurvedic centres might on each zonal Railways except South Eastern Where 8 full-time and 2 part-time dispensaries were already functioning. It was also impressed that in the third phase, 24 additional centres might be established on major zonal Railways including South Eastern Railway. The number set up might be 3 on each Railway except NE, NF and SC Railways where only 2 centres needed to be established. The exact location of the new dispensaries was to be advised by the Railways. The concerned Chief Medical Officers were required to make available suitable accommodation in the hospitals/ medical units for functioning all the centres. The concerned Chief Personnel Officers were also to ensure that the new centres were opened and run under the aegis of SBF.

4. Guidelines governing Homeopathic / Ayurvadic Dispensaries:

Further instructions were issued, vide letter No. E(W)87 WE 1- 5 dated 31.07.1987 (RBE 200/1987) to the effect that Homeopathic/Ayurvedic Centres were to be opened where such dispensaries should be necessarily located in Railway Hospitals. If for any reason, space in the hospital was not immediately available, a new room could be constructed and it might be housed in an adjacent building to avoid delay. Part-time Homeopath or Ayurvedic Physicians to man the dispensaries should not have less than 10 years' standing after registration in their field. While the treatment taken could be in the Homeopathic/Ayurvedic dispensaries by employees as per their preference, sick and fitness certificates to the employees could be issued only by the qualified Railway Allopathic Doctors. A list of existing Homeopathic/Ayurvedic dispensaries in Railways is enclosed.

5. The question of adopting measures to attract physicians of eminence for Homeopathic and Ayurvedic dispensaries was also considered in the General Manager's Conference held on 26/27.04.1989 and it was decided that with a view to improving the quality of service the rate of monthly consolidated honorarium payable to Homeopathic/Ayurvedic physicians may be enhanced. The honorarium for Physicians engaged on full-time basis was fixed at Rs. 2000/-per month whereas in the case of physicians on part-time basis, an amount of Rs. 1500/- was prescribed. This was subject to the condition that the Physicians so engaged should be in possession of a Diploma/Degree of not less than 4 years' duration plus five years' experience after acquiring the Diploma/Degree course in the respective field of medicine. The part-time dispensaries are to be kept open daily for 2 to 4 hours, depending upon the demand for treatment. It was specifically stated that only part-time dispensaries under the indigenous system of medicine should be opened and in no case, full-time dispensaries should be opened.

 Expenditure on subsidy of medicine and payment of honorarium to Dispensers/Helpers was also prescribed @ Rs. 2000/- per month for Ayurvedic dispensaries and Rs. 500/- per month for Homeopathic Dispensaries. It was specifically impressed upon the General Managers not to divert the funds from Homeopathic/Ayurvedic system of medicine to any alternative activity under the Staff Benefit Fund. The Chief Personnel Officers were also asked to launch a drive for opening additional centres. The question of conversion of existing full-time homeopathic dispensaries functioning on the Railways was also considered and it was decided vide Board's letter No. E(W)90 WE 1-23 dated 13/30.07.1990 that these dispensaries should be converted into part-time dispensaries at the time of engagement of Physicians in terms of instructions contained in the Ministry of Railways letter No. E(W)89 WE 1-15 dated 03.10.1989 (RBE 250/1989). Pursuant to the instructions contained in Railway Board's, letter no. E(W)88 WE 1-16 dated 10.07.1989 (RBE 177/1989), the North Eastern Railway decided to find out eminent practitioners for improving quality of service in the system, through the process of selection where in existing working practitioners were also given equal opportunities. Only those existing practitioners who either did not appear before the Selection Board or whose performance was not upto the mark compared with others were replaced. Railway Board vide their letter No. E(W)88 WE 1-16 dated 10.05.1991 impressed upon the General Managers that for putting the functioning of Homeopathic/Ayurvedic dispensaries on a rational and uniform pattern, the action taken by the North Eastern Railway might be kept in mind as a reasonable example to follow.

6. It was further noticed that there was a shortfall of varying degrees in the funds available to the Railways on account of contribution of Staff Benefit Fund and the actual expenditure incurred on running the dispensaries as per the prescribed yard sticks for payment of honorarium to Physicians and procurement of medicine etc. The matter was considered by the Railway Board and it was decided vide letter No. E(W)90 WE 1-24 dated 18.03.1991 that the Railways should manage the expenditure incurred on account of Homeopathic/Ayurvedic dispensaries by suitable re-appropriation, as additional ad hoc contribution to the Staff Benefit Fund from the Budget allotted to them under the Head "Medical Services" to the extent the allotment under Staff Benefit Fund for this purpose was found insufficient in the current year. It was further impressed upon the Railways vide Railway Board's DO No. E(W)90 WE 1-30 dated 11.07.1991 that expenditure for the year 1991-1992 onwards also should be managed as per guidelines contained in Railway Board's letter dated 18.03.1991  mentioned above.

7. GENERAL:

                            i.            While referring to this circular, the original letters referred to herein should be read for a proper appreciation. This circular is only a consolidation of the instructions issued so far and should not be treated as a substitution to the originals. In case of doubt, the original circular should be relied upon as authority.

                          ii.            The instructions contained in the original circulars referred to have only prospective effect from the date of issue unless specifically indicated otherwise in the concerned circular. For dealing with old cases, the instructions in force at the relevant time should be referred to; and

                        iii.            If any circular on the subject, which has not been superseded, has not been taken into consideration in preparing this consolidated letter, the said circular, which has been missed through oversight, should be treated as valid and operative. Such a missing circular, if any, may be brought to the notice of the Railway Board.

The consolidation has been made from the following circulars:

1.     E(W)79 WE 1-11 dated 26.08.1979

2.     E(W)87 WE 1- 5 dated 26.05.1987

3.     E(W)87 WE 1- 5 dated 15.06.1987 (RBE 153/1987)

4.     E(W)87 WE 1- 5 dated 31.07.1987 (RBE 200/1987)

5.     E(W)88 WE 1-16 dated 21.03.1989 (RBE 82/1989)

6.     E(W)88 WE 1-16 dated 10.07.1989 (RBE 177/1989)

7.     E(W)89 WE 1-15 dated 03.10.1989 (RBE 250/1989)

8.     E(W)90 WE 1-23 dated 12.07.1990 (RBE 115/1990)

9.     E(W)90 WE 1-23 dated 30.07.1990

10.E(W)90 WE 1-24 dated 18.03.1991

11.E(W)88 WE 1-16 dated 10.05.1991

12.E(W)90 WE 1-30 dated 11.07.1991

LIST OF HOMEOPATHIC / AYURVEDIC DISPENSARIES IN INDIAN RAILWAYS

CENTRAL RAILWAY:

Homeopathic:

1.     Agra Cantt.

2.     Ajni

3.     Bina

4.     Bhopal

5.     Bombay

6.     Gwalior

7.     Jabalpur

8.     Jhansi

9.     Katni

10.Sholapur

Ayurvedic:

1.     Amla

2.     Bhuswal

NOTE: Homeopathic Dispensaries at Kalyan, Daund and Bhuswal are at present closed for want of qualified Doctors.

EASTERN RAILWAY:

1.     Asansol

2.     Azimganj

3.     CHD

4.     Danapur

5.     Dhanbad

6.     FP

7.     Howrah

8.     Jamalpur

9.     Kancharapara

10.Liluah

11.Malda Town

12.Mugal Sarai

13.Pataratu

14.PWA

15.Sahibganj

16.Sealdah

17.UDL

NORTHERN RAILWAY:

Part - time Homeopathic

1.     Bikaner

2.     Delhi (Kishen Ganj)

3.     Delhi (Sewa Nagar)

4.     Harthala

5.     Hisar

6.     Jagadhari Workshop

7.     Jaunpur

8.     Jodhpur

9.     Kalka

10.Faizabad

11.Kanpur

12.Lucknow

13.Ludhiana

14.Mugal Sarai

15.Varanasi

Full – time Homeopathic

16.New Delhi (Central Hospital)

Full – time Ayurvedic

17.New Delhi (Central Hospital)

NORTH EASTERN RAILWAY:

1.     Gorakhpur (Baulia Rly. Colony)

2.     Gorakhpur (Bichhia Rly. Colony)

3.     Varanasi

4.     Chhapra Kachary

5.     Manduadih

6.     Samastipur

7.     Saharsa

8.     Samastipur (Gandak)

9.     Sonepur

10.Muzaffarpur

11.Barauni

12.Garhara

13.Lucknow (Badshahnagar Colony)

14.Gonda

15.Izatnagar

16.Pilibhit

17.Kasganj

18.Mailani

19.Narkatiaganj

20.Raxaul

21.Darbhanga

22.Mau Jn.

NORTH EASTERN RAILWAY: 1. Sonepur Ayurvedic Dispensary

NORTH EAST FRONTIER RAILWAY:

1.     Maligaon

2.     Katihar

3.     Alipurduar Jn.

4.     Badarpur

5.     Malda Town

SOUTHERN RAILWAY:

Homeopathic Dispensaries

1.     Golden Rock

2.     Madras

3.     Madurai

4.     Mysore

5.     Palghat

6.     Perambur

7.     Podanur

8.     Tiruchirapalli

Ayurvedic Dispensaries:

1.     Bangalore

2.     Palghat

3.     Trivandrum

SOUTH CENTRAL RAILWAY:

Homeopathic Dispensaries

1.     Bhavaninagar

2.     Bitrangunta

3.     Goutamnagar

4.     Guntakal

5.     Hyderabad Rly. Station

6.     Kacheguda

7.     Kazipet

8.     Lalitnagar

9.     Mettuguda

10.Moulali

11.PPTY

12.Satyanarayanapuram

13.Sitafalmandi

14.Vijayawada

Ayurvedic Dispensaries

1.     Chilkalgudai

2.     Hubli

SOUTH EASTERN RAILWAY:

Full- time

1.     Adra

2.     Garden Reach

3.     Kharagpur (O/L)

4.     Kharagpur (W/S)

5.     Kurda Road

6.     Mathura Kati/Nimpura

Part- time:

1.     Bilaspur

2.     Chakradharpur

3.     Raipur

4.     Waltair

5.     Santragachi

6.     Shalimar

WESTERN RAILWAY:

Part- time Homeopathic

1.     Ajmer

2.     Baroda (Pratap Nagar)

3.     Bhavnagar

4.     Bombay Central

5.     Jaipur

6.     Kota

7.     Rajkot

8.     Ratlam

9.     Sabarmati

Ayurvedic

RAILWAY BOARD: NEW DELHI

Supplementary Circular No. 1 vide Railway Board's letter No. E(W)91 WE 1-22, dated 24.07.1992 (RBE 123/1992).