State to takeover hospitals in OFT, HEPF townships

The State Health Department has reportedly responded positively to the request of the Defence Ministry to administer hospitals and clinics in the townships in the two Defence production units in Tiruchi, as elsewhere in the factory townships across the country, in the wake of the takeover of the factories by Defence Public Sector Undertakings last year.

The Secretary of Defence Production had, earlier this year, written to Chief Secretaries of the State Governments proposing takeover of the hospitals and dispensaries. The Health Department has appointed a Liaison Officer to carry out the task, according to an official source.

Residents in the townships of the two defence production units in Tiruchi: Ordnance Factory, a unit of Advanced Weapons and Equipment India Limited, and High Energy Projectile Factory (HEPF), a unit of Munitions India Limited, are awaiting an early outcome for better fund flow to the hospitals, and sustenance of the regular consultations.

Prior to conversion of Ordnance Factory Board into seven defence public sector undertakings, the Medical and Healthcare establishment of the Ordnance and Ordnance Equipment Factories were governed by Ordnance Factory Medical Regulations (OFMR), that entitled employees to medical consultation, advice and treatment by authorised health care professionals. In case of medical emergencies not authorised under OFMR, Central Services (Medical Attendance) Rules, 1944, was applicable.

Earlier this year, the AIDEF (All India Defence Employees' Federation), BPMS (Bharatiya Pratiraksha Mazdoor Sangh) and CDRA (Confederation of Defence Recognised Federations) made a fervent request to the Defence Minister, justifying the importance of retaining the hospitals and dispensaries under the Ministry's care.

C Srikumar, general secretary, AIDEF, urged the Defence Ministry to keep its promise that “pay scales, allowances, leave, medical facilities, career progression and other service condition will be governed by the extant rules, regulation and orders as are applicable to the Central Government Employees".

Following the dissolution of Ordnance Factory Board, 41 production units and certain non-production entities in the area of training were taken over by the new DPSUs (wholly owned by the Government of India) while Non-production units: hospitals/independent dispensaries were transferred to the Directorate of Ordnance (Coordination and Services).

According to official information, the Directorate had scheduled a walk-in interview recently for engaging a Hired Medical Practitioner on contractual basis, for the Ordnance Factory Hospital, Tiruchi, for a consolidated honorarium of Rs. 75,000 per month.

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Printable version | Aug 18, 2022 2:54:04 pm | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Tiruchirapalli/state-to-takeover-hospitals-in-oft-hepf-townships/article65561574.ece