Country’s first hospital train ‘Lifeline Express’ reached Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Terminus in Mumbai on Thursday. The seven-coach Express train, better known as Jeevan Rekha Express, is donated by the Indian Railways to bring healthcare facility to doorstep of the rural population who cannot reach a hospital.
The train was inaugurated for its new set of trips at CSMT on Thursday.
The Lifeline Express was started on 16 July 1991. It was a collaboration between the Impact India Foundation (IIF), Indian Railways (IR) and the Health Ministry. The train is a unique of delivering health services to masses, especially the under-privileged.
The main aim of the Lifeline Express is to provide on-the-spot diagnostic, medical and advanced surgical treatment for preventive and curative interventions for disabled adults and children. It is an outreach program for inaccessible rural areas where medical services are not available, travelling via Indian Railways.
In the rural and backward regions of the country, patients are drawn up and then treated accordingly. The Lifeline Express is then transported to the camped area and according to the given date, the patient’s check up and surgery is done. Large companies contribute to this task under CSR (Corporate Social Responsibility), for which no fee is charged from patients.
According to reports, each coach of the train is air-conditioned and has one surgical operation theatre with three operating tables. It also has a sterilizing room, several patient wards, on-board power generators, a pantry car, storage for medical supplies, and accommodation for medical staff.
Lifeline Express has so far provided medical care to about 12 lakh patients in remote locations of the country. The hospital train has so far travelled to 19 states of India and visited 201 rural locations in 138 districts, providing medical care to 12.32 lakh patients, including 1.46 lakh cases of surgery.
At each location the hospital train serves about 8,000 beneficiaries restoring sight, hearing, mobility, repairing cleft lips, treating epilepsy and dental care.
The train was inaugurated for its new set of trips by Dr R Badri Narayan, Additional General Manager, Central Railway at Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Terminus and will now be moving to Sahibganj for its next project.