OFB Hospitals and Dispensaries Should Not Be Handed Over To Other Agencies

Major Federations including AIDEF, BPMS & CDRA write to Raksha Mantri Rajnath Singh in this regard

www.indianpsu.com recently published a news item about the government decision to hand over the Hospitals and Dispensaries to the State Governments despite opposition by the employees and their Federations. Now, the major Federations of the Defence Civilian Employees AIDEF, BPMS & CDRA have shot a letter to Raksha Mantri Shri Rajnath Singh, putting forth their arguments and reasons that why Ordnance Factory Hospitals should continue to exist with the Ordnance Factories.

www.indianpsu.com accessed a copy of the joint letter of the Federations dated 17/1/22. The contents of the Joint Letter is published here for the benefit of the viewers of www.indianpsu.com

Ref. No. : 144/AIDEF/ BPMS/CDRA/22 Date : 17.01.2022
Shri Rajnath Singhji
Hon’ble Defence Minister,
Government of India,
South Block, New Delhi.
Subject : Appeal for retaining the Ordnance Factory Hospitals and
Dispensaries with the Ordnance Factories/DOO(C&S).
Reference : Secretary(DP) DO Letter No.1(5)/2021/OF/Hospitals /DP(Plg.-V), dated 10 th Jan. 2022.

Respected Sir,

On behalf of 76000 Defence Civilian Employees working in the Ordnance Factories and their family members, we draw your kind attention to the above mentioned subject. Post Corporatisation of Ordnance Factories implemented w.e.f. 01/10/2021, the employees are subjected to various problems, especially with regard to their service matters, in violation of the Cabinet decision and the commitments given by your honour. We have brought all the issues to the notice of Secretary(DP) and also to your honour through our innumerable number of representations.

However, we regret to inform you that so far none of the issues have been settled and the employees are totally demoralised. The latest issue is that of the Government decision to hand over the 29 Ordnance Factory hospitals and Dispensaries to the State Governments. Secretary(DP) has written DO letters to the Chief Secretaries of the different State Governments in this regard. This decision of the DDP is against the following decision of the
Government and also the commitment given by the hon’ble RM in the Parliament and also by the DDP in the High Courts.

“Till such time the employees remain on deemed deputation to the new entitles, they shall continue to be subject to all rules and regulations as are applicable to the Central Government Servants. Their pay scales, allowances,
leave, medical facilities, career progression and other service conditions will also continue to be governed by the extant rules, regulations and orders, as are applicable to the Central Government Servants” We doubt whether the authorities have brought to your notice the fact that the employees and their family members are governed by the Ordnance Factories Medical Regulations (OFMR) which was promulgated by a Presidential Order
dated 30/01/2009. The applicability of the OFMR is given below for your kind ready reference. (extract from OFMR)

Ordnance Factory Medical Regulations (OFMR)
2 Applications
These regulations are follows:-

1) Occupational Health services that will be provided to the civilian employees working in Ordnance and Ordnance Equipment Factories and their allied Establishments.
2) The health care of employees entitled for health care under the Regulations and their families.
3) The medical facilities that will be extended by the Ordnance Factory Hospitals and the Clinics.
4) Provisioning of hospital stores, equipment, applicances and diet.

(ii) Entitlement to healthcare under Ordnance Factory Medical Regulations.

A. The Civilian Employees working in Ordnance and Ordnance Equipment Factories, their Allied Establishments residing within a radius of 8 Kilometres from the main gate of the factory which is to be reckoned by normal route by road, and their families will be governed under Ordnance Factory Medical Regulations (OFMR) for the purpose of health care.

B. Those Civilian Employees who are residing beyond a distance of 8 Kilometres from the Main gate of the factory and their families will be governed under Central Services (Medical Attendance) Rules, 1944 (CS(MA) Rules for the purpose of health care. These Employees will be governed under OFMR, instead of CS(MA) Rules for the purpose of health care, if they opt for the same.

Sir, you will appreciate that if the Ordnance Factory Hospitals and Dispensaries are handed over to State Governments or any other agency, the employees and their family members will not be getting the above benefit of OFMR which is a clear violation of Cabinet decision and the commitments given before the Parliament and in the Hon’ble High Courts.

Ensuring the basic requirements of the employees like Health and Education is taken care of then the employees would without any inhibition and worries would concentrate on their work schedule and ensure that the productivity is maximised. A sense of belonging is sought to be brought amongst the employees and the feeling that they are a part and partial of the Organisation goes a long way in their involvement in the growth and promotion of the Organisation. As a strategic plan most of the Ordnance Factories are located from the cities and towns which do not have access to medical and educational facilities. Moreover many of the Factories the work
is so hazardous that accident of minor and major nature takes place inspite of all the safety precautions, since the Factories are involved in manufacturing, processing, proofing and testing of High Explosive Chemicals, Explosives, Ammunitions, Arms and Weapons etc. Whenever such accidents occur the Ordnance Factory Hospitals play a very vital role in saving the lives of the employees.

Statutory obligation of Medical Examination for Factory Workers under Sec.- 41C of Factories Act 1948

In accordance with Factories Act 1948 each and every employee posted in the Factories may be put through all routine and special medical tests periodically (varying from 1 month to 12 months periodicity depending upon the hazardous operations which have impact on Operational Health), depending upon the job profile and nature of the manufacturing process. Ordnance Factory Hospitals and Dispensaries performs this statutory requirement in a most successful manner and individual employees medical reports are preserved, monitored and remedial measures are taken. If the Ordnance Factories Hospitals & Dispensaries are handed over to State Governments or any other sector, the first casualty will be the Annual Medical Examination of the employees which will be a violation of the Factories Act 1948.

Hospitals and Dispensaries in Central Public Sector undertakings

Apart from the above, it is not that the public sector undertaking in our country are not having hospital facilities. Ministry of Health have published a list of 201 Hospitals which are administered by Central Public Sector undertakings and have declared those hospitals as Covid Care Centres. During the 1 st phase of Covid-19 crisis even the Ordnance Factory Hospitals were declared as Covid Care Centres and they have done excellent job in fighting against the Covid-19 spread as frontline warriors. Therefore there cannot be any justification for taking away the 29 Ordnance Factory Hospitals and Dispensaries from the Ordnance Factories and handing over to State
Governments or any other agencies. It is also pertinent to mention here that Defence PSUs like HAL & BEML are having their own Hospitals.

Matter subjudice

We also would like to bring to your notice that the entire decision of the Government of India to Corporatise the Ordnance Factories is being challenged in the High Court of Madras and High Court of Telangana. The Petitions were admitted by the Hon’ble High Courts and the whole dispute of Corporatisation of Ordnance Factories is now subjudice. Therefore any decision to take away the existing medical facilities from the employees by handing over the Ordnance Factory hospitals to the State Governments or any other sector will amount to Contempt of Court.

Sir, considering all the above aspect, it is requested that you honour may kindly intervene in the matter and arrange to issue instructions to the DDP to immediately withdraw the process of handing over the Ordnance Factory Hospitals and Dispensaries to the State Governments or to another agencies in the interest of the Medical Care of the Employees and their family members and to continue the functioning of the Ordnance Factory Hospitals and Dispensaries either with the Ordnance Factories as existing prior to 01/10/2021 or to continue the Hospitals and Dispensaries permanently under the Directorate of Ordnance (C&S), since the employees have decided not to opt for joining the newly created Corporations and to continue as Central Government Employee/Defence Civilian employees.
Awaiting for your earlier and favourable decision please.

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