Health ATMs at railway stations: To give out medical reports instantly, Indian Railways has set up Health ATMs at many railway stations across the country. With this move, several Indian Railways passengers and users are getting their medical check-up done at pocket-friendly prices. These Health ATMs have been set up under Indian Railways “New Innovative and Idea Scheme” for generating revenue under Non-Fare Revenue. First announced in the year 2010-11, the Non-Fare Revenue has been a non-starter over the years. However, it gained momentum over the past year with the national transporter, according to an IE report.
According to a passenger quoted in the report, at Nagpur railway station, he walked up to the Health ATM and a paramedic at the kiosk asked him to hold the grab handles of the ATM and stand on a platform that was attached to it. The platform attached to the machine works as a weighing scale. He further said that it just took seconds for the machine to give a printed slip, which had analyzed his Body Mass Index, and his low hydration level. The printed slip also stated that his blood pressure and blood sugar were in the normal range but proteins were low. It was all done within a few minutes at a cost of Rs 60, while any other pathologist would have taken at least an amount of Rs 200 for some basic test, he added.
According to another railway user who was quoted in the report, in a bid to give out medical reports instantly, these machines have brought together “point of care devises” assembled with software. These Health ATMs can test for as many as 16 different non-invasive nutritional parameters. He further said that these machines have reinvented health testing and have been made affordable for the public.
In a bid to meet the shortfall in revenue, a fare hike was also implemented by Indian Railways for long-distance trains to generate approximately Rs 2,300 crore with increased fares. An official said that besides ticketing, the Non-Fare Revenue is an important aspect of revenue generation. The targets are to generate nearly 10-20% of the annual expenditure through Non-Fare Revenue, but under this, only advertisements were thought as a way of generating revenue until now, the official further said.
Heath ATMs have also been set up at Nagpur, Bhopal, Lucknow and other railways stations. According to a Western Railway official, though the zone will be getting around a little more than a lakh as annual contract fees from per Health ATM but every lakh adds to make a crore. The Western Railways has a target of Rs 100 crore towards Non-Fare Revenue in 2019-20.