India’s hospital train to provide health care to rural areas with 2 more coach addition

NewDelhi,Dec9:India’s, and the world’s too – first hospital train that provides health care to rural areas was upgraded with two additional coaches on Thurdsay. The new coaches on the ‘Lifeline Express’ will provide cancer care and family health services.

Union Health Minister Jagat Prakash Nadda and Minister of Railways Suresh Prabhu inaugurated the upgraded train at the New Delhi railway station.

The upgraded Life Line Express will leave from New Delhi to Satna in Madhya Pradesh later this month, where it’ll be stationed till January 5 to treat patients. From there, the moving hospital will go on to make pit stops to Telangana, Punjab, Chhattisgarh, Gujarat and other locations.

The additional coaches will be used for detection and control of oral, breast, and cervical cancer, and prevention of stroke as well as for family health services.

At the event Nadda said, “This initiative will help reach out to the rural areas with insufficient medical facilities, or areas hit by natural disasters, etc. The train will stay in each place for several days while medical care – routine as well as major surgery – is provided to the locals.”

Three fully-equipped operation theatres will be available for free-of-cost services. Restorative surgeries for sight, hearing, clefts, burn contractures and orthopaedic impairment, treatments for epilepsy and dental problems are all offered on the train.

An estimated 10,000 persons are expected to benefit at each halt. Close to 10 lakh patients have been treated on the train at 177 locations across India so far. Over one lakh surgeries for restoration of mobility, vision, hearing and correction of facial deformities have been performed.

Interestingly, The Lifeline Express is known worldwide as the “Magic Train of India”, and several countries have replicated the model with Hospital Trains and River Boat Hospitals.

Seven-coach hospital

Lifeline Express, the world’s first hospital train, was started 25 years ago, in 1991, with three wooden coaches bringing medical care to the remotest parts of the country

Over 10 lakh patients across rural India have received treatment free-of-charge so far

Nearly 2 lakh medical professionals from around the world have volunteered on the Lifeline Express

Operation Theatres, a Pathology Lab, a Mammography unit, a Gynaecology Examination Room, a Dental Unit, Pharmacy, Consultation Cubicles, X-ray, among others, are on board the train

The train is WiFi enabled so a doctor sitting in a metropolitan city examine patient’s X-ray reports and other images