Royal Commission on Labour in India: Report(1929)||
A separate chapter is given to the health of industrial workers and there is no need to stress here the fact that the preservation of the health of the staff and the prevention of epidemic diseases in railway settlements have a very important bearing on the efficient and economic working of railways. In recent years the Railway Board and the administrations have been giving special attention to improvement of medical and sanitary arrangements. Figures have been supplied showing that the twelve Class I railways give grants for health and welfare purposes amounting to a crore of rupees annually, this amount being taken wholly from revenue, with the exception of about Rs. 6 lakhs from fine funds. Almost 50% of this expenditure is devoted to medical relief and more than: 25% to sanitation; during the last six years the cost of medical relief has increased by 30%. We are in entire agreement with the Railway Board as to the advantages of having on each railway a whole-time medical staff, which should be responsible not only for medical treatment but also for the supervision of health and sanitation in all directions. We therefore recommend that all railway medical officers should be definitely precluded from private practice, except in the case of families of railway servants, as we consider that full scope exists in the railway service for all their time and energies. In view of the character of the duties required of these officers, the importance of public health qualifications should be recognised by all administrations. Chief Medical Officers, in particular, should be required to devote more time to inspections.