Indian Railways may soon unveil primary healthcare centres along with Jan Aushadhi stores and sanitary pad vending machines at around 7,000 stations across the country as part of efforts to boost the national healthcare plan proposed in Budget 2018-19.
The railways ministry has proposed that its infrastructure be used for providing primary healthcare services at affordable prices.
“We have got a robust network across the country including in villages that can be used by the Centre to take the preventive and primary healthcare to the last mile,” said a senior railways ministry official, who did not wish to be identified.
The railways ministry is working with the health and family welfare ministry to chalk out details of the plan, which could entail inviting private sector participation for setting up basic diagnostic centres.
“There’s a proposal to use retired doctors and ex-army hospital staff for the purpose,” the official said.
To begin with, the railways plans to immediately set up sanitary pad vending machines at stations across the country.