Business / Opinion

Trains need medical facilities

(China Daily) Updated: 2014-01-23 08:06

Three couples traveling on a train from Fuzhou, Fujian province, to Chongqing recently sought medical help for their children. But they refused to get off the train to get proper medical treatment for their children for fear they would not get tickets for the onward journey. The incident highlights the need to provide basic healthcare service on long-distance trains, says an article on Excerpts:

For any parent, getting emergency medical help for his/her child should take precedence over everything else. But the priorities seem to change just before Spring Festival, when getting a train ticket is very difficult. The three couples took a great risk by not seeking proper medical treatment for their sick children.

It is thus necessary to figure out a way to provide timely medical care on trains. Common emergency medicines - for motion sickness and flu - are available on most trains. Some long-distance trains also have infirmaries. But still the medical service on trains cannot meet serious emergencies. Besides, the absence of medical professionals makes it difficult to take proper care of patients even in the infirmaries.

The railway authorities, therefore, should assign medical professionals to the infirmaries and stock them with as much emergency medicines as possible. To cover the cost, the railways could either charge the patients for the medical service or raise ticket prices.

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