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Retired employees liberalised health scheme (RELHS)

The Railway Board has decided to give another chance to those retired railway employees who have not yet joined retired employees liberalised health scheme (RELHS). This step would benefit thousands of retired railway employees throughout the country. The scheme is open uptil March 31, 2010. The retired employees should contact the personnel branch for availing the facility.

The Railway Board has sent letters to all the general managers and heads of the production units through letter number 2008/H/28/1/RELHS dated March 18, 2009.

In order to avail the free medical facilities under the RELHS, a retired employee had to deposit the last salary in the railways coffers. However, most of the railwaymen have not joined this facility by depositing the said amount, as a result were not entitled to enjoy the free medical facility.

Most of the retired employees who have not joined the scheme are class IV employees due to ignorance. It may be noted that all the retired employees are entitled to medical allowance of Rs 100 per month without having free medical facility.

Welcoming the initiative, Kishan Singh, president of Avkash Prapt Railway Karamchari Hitkari Samiti said, “We have consistently demanded the re-opening of RELHS so that all the retired employees could avail this benefit.”

The employees who have already retired on the date of re-opening of the RELHS and have not joined at the time of retirement should deposit a sum equivalent to double the amount of revised basic pension after the implementation of Sixth Central Pay Commission. For family pensioners, a sum equivalent to double the amount of revised family pension after the implementation of Sixth Central pay Commission should be deposited.

The letter mentions that there will be a lock-in period of six months from the date on which a retired employee joins the scheme and that is the date of depositing the fees. During this period, the retired employee will be entitled for free medical treatment as available in railway hospitals and other government hospitals including government owned autonomous hospitals and government medical colleges hospitals only. However, they would not be referred to private hospitals, which are recognised for railway employees and other RELHS card holder. In any circumstances and in any medical condition during the lock-in period, reimbursement of medical claims for treatment taken in private hospitals including the private recognized hospitals will not be permitted.

RELHS card will be issued by the personnel branches. The cards should mention the lock-in period and indicate the designation, amount and date of deposit with the signature of the issuing authority.

NCR spokesman Amit Malviya said that this step would benefit the retired employees who were earlier outside the purview of RELHS scheme.