The Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation (IRCTC) has collaborated with Chennai-based Apollo Hospitals in order to provide trouble-free travelling facility for patients and their families who are travelling for medical care. IRCTC is also making plans to extend this service to the neighboring countries like Bangladesh and Sri Lanka by partnering with airline services and the other travel service providers in these countries.
As per the MoU (memorandum of understanding) with Apollo, the IRCTC is going to run a chartered coach, from Kolkata to Chennai, every 14 days. This operation will be mixed with the preventive health check-up packages at Apollo Hospitals so that the passengers can avail a comprehensive package. This special coach is going to be positioned in Chennai for a span of 3 days and is going to be back with the same passenger list.
This special coach will be arranged by the IRCTC only in suitable trains that ply between these two destinations, especially for the travelers who will be opting for Apollo-IRCTC package.
It is believed that this step is going to be a one-stop solution for protective health check-ups for the people of north-eastern states. This facility comprises of a medical check-up package, hotel stay, return train ticket, local sightseeing as well as local transportation to the hospital. The price and other details about the packages are still to be finalized. This services will be launched in middle of the November month.
V Sriram, south zone director, IRCTC, said, “We are doing this on an experimental basis. Based on the response, we are looking at connecting the regions where there is deficit of healthcare facilities to where there are facilities available in plenty.”
Pratap C Reddy, founder and chairman of Apollo Hospitals Enterprise, further added that, “The service under the MoU is for preventive medical check-up and there would be various packages offered with certain discounts.” He added the passengers are also going to avail a genetic profile service in link-up with a Nashik-based Datar Genetics. “We hope the well-integrated services of IRCTC along with our clinical expertise will provide patients from other regions with unprecedented access to quality healthcare,” said Reddy.
It is estimated that on a daily basis, about 200 patients from the north-eastern region of India, come to the s main hospital of Apollo in Chennai.