SAIL acknowledges the fact that ensuring good health of its employees, their families and people residing in the surrounding areas of its plants/units is not just a matter of corporate responsibility. It is a pre-requisite for sustainable all-round development. The company takes special care to provide healthy living conditions for both its employees and people living in peripheral areas.
Over the years, SAIL has established 54 primary health centres, 12 reproductive & child health (RCH) centres, 17 hospitals and 7 super-speciality hospitals to provide modern health care to more than 30.60 million people. The hospitals have a total strength of around 4043 beds for the benefit of employees, their dependents and the peripheral population and are managed by around 4000 trained medical staff. SAIL hospitals also implement the government’s RCH programme across all plants/units.
Villagers with major ailments are referred by the health centres to the main plant or government hospitals for treatment, while minor operations are carried out in the centres. These centres observe occasions such as World Health Day, World Blood Donor Day, Newborn Week, etc., to enhance awareness and sensitise people on health-related issues. Another major function of these centres is to create health awareness by distributing handbills, putting up hoardings in prominent locations and conducting debates, painting and quiz competitions, etc.
SAIL has been implementing an AIDS awareness & control programme in partnership with the National AIDS Control Organisation (NACO), Ministry of Health & Family Welfare since 1999-2000. Till date about Rs 32 million have been received for implementing the policies of NACP-II in all plants/units. The company has covered around 6 lakh non-employees and 1 lakh employees in the programme. In 2003, the International Labour Organisation documented SAIL’s HIV/AIDS programme as a case study for workplace intervention. SAIL is also participating in other national health programmes like TB control, anti-malaria, leprosy eradication, etc.
The company also organises a number of health camps at various villages on pre-announced days. Drives on immunisation, blood donation, etc., are also held on a regular basis. The purpose of the health camps is also to bring about awareness on health-related issues by distributing water purification tablets, handbills and other means of audio-visual communication. Specialists in the medical fields of gynaecology, cardiology, paediatrics, ultrasound, orthopaedics, etc., are also reined in to provide consultancy in the camps.
In 2007-08, SAIL organised more than 475 medical camps in 12 states (Bihar, Jharkhand, Chhattisgarh, Orissa, West Bengal, Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, Rajasthan) covering over 5 lakh needy people. More than 2,200 health camps were organised in 2008-09, benefitting around 10 lakh people and in 2009-10, more than 3850 camps have been organised, benefitting over 2.32 Lakh people .The facilities made available were:
- free health check-up
- path lab treatment
- surgical cases referred to plant hospitals (free stay, to-fro transport & food with 1 attendant each)
- post operative check up etc.
Mobile medical units have been provided by SAIL to leading NGOs to help elderly and needy people obtain medical care easily.