National Federation of Indian Railwaymen
Affiliated to :
Indian National Trade Union Congress (INTUC)
International Transport Workers’ Federation (ITF)
Sub: Creation of posts of Dieticians in Railway Hospitals on Indian Railways-reg.
For quite sometime, the Federation has been receivmg grievances from the Railway employees over non-availability of Dieticians in various Railway Hospitals at Zonal/Divisional level, causing hardships to the employees (serving/retired) but is also affecting adversely the quality of medical treatment in absence of proper dietary advice. In the present day environment there is necessity of a dietician in the Railway Hospitals where there are more than 25 beds and about 1,000 patients (Railway employees and their families plus RELHS beneficiaries).
Federation further desires to state that the Dieticians are qualified professionals with skills to provide expert nutrition and dietary advice to the patients for improvement and up keep of health. The Federation places below the duties and responsibilities which are expected of a Dietician to improve nutrition care:-
• Creation of an institutional culturevROLE OF DIETICIAN IN PATIENT’S RECOVERY:-
• Redefining clinician’s role by inclusion of nutritional care of patients,
• Recognize and diagnose all malnourished patients and also those at risk,
• Rapidly implementing comprehensive nutrition intervention and continued monitoring,
• Communication of nutritional care plans,
• Developing a comprehensive discharge, nutritional care and education plan.
Clinical Dieticians monitor, assess, and optimize nutrition status based on the patient’s medical condition and/or nutrition adequacy.
They confer with physicians and other health care professionals to coordinate medical and nutritional needs, and they make recommendations for tube and intravenous feedings and/or dietary supplements.
Clinical Dieticians counsel and educate patients how to make nutritionally sound food choices to speed up the recovery process, prevent disease and maintain good health.
Dieticians provide food and nutrition information, and support people to improve their health. They provide advice on nutrition-related matters and modify diets to help manage conditions such as diabetes, heart diseases (atheroscelerosis, angina, coronary heart disease, • stroke ,hypertension), liver diseases(Fatty liver disease, alcoholic liver disease, liver cirrhosis, hepatitis A,B,C), lung diseases(Asthma ,chronic obstructive Pulmonary Disease, Pneumonia, tuberculosis), overweight and obesity, constipation, cancer, food allergies, Anaemia and food intolerance, any type of cancer cases.
The following is the number of Central, Divisional, Sub-Divisional & Production Unit
Hospitals on the Indian Railways:-
(i) Central Hospitals = 64
(ii) Divisional Hospitals = 112
(iii) Sub-Divisional/PU Hospitals = 55
Total = 231
Federation is sad to note that there are only 24 posts of Dieticians in about 22 Railway Hospitals” on Indian Railways. This proves that the posts of Dieticians have not been provided adequately in each Railway Hospital despite the fact that these Hospitals have more beds. It is needless to point out that in the Hospitals where there is Dietician, the ratio of Dietician to patient is 1:300-500 which itself is quite alarming and needs deployment of more staff of this category.
It is to be appreciated that ‘Diet and Nutrition’ is immensely helping in the treatment of diseases like Hypertension, dyslipidemia, diabetes, hepatitis and nephritis, hyperuremia and saves considerable amount towards the cost of medicine and the allied treatment.
NFIR, therefore, requests the Railway Board to accord approval for creation of posts of Dieticians in Railway Hospitals to ensure proper Health Care to the Railway employees and the RELHS beneficiaries. Federation may please kept advised of action taken in the matter.
(Dr. M. Raghavaiah)