UIMC

The UIMC, the International Union of Railway Medical Services, is an autonomous special group under the aegis of the UIC, the International Union of Railways with headquarters in Paris.

Tasks

The UIMC performs the following tasks:

- Promotion and dissemination of medical progress on the railways
- Promotion of professional contacts between railway medical officers with the aim of exchanging information and medical knowledge
- Communication of specialist papers on railway medicine, regular inter-disciplinary and international exchange of medical knowledge at general assemblies and scientific conferences
- Promotion of medical research specific to the railways and application of the results in day-to-day practice
- Attainment of the highest possible level of railway operating safety and the best possible care of railway staff.

History

The UIMC was founded in 1948 as a company under Belgian law by a group of leading medical officers from European railway undertakings. It rapidly became a worldwide organisation with a membership extending to Asia, Africa and South America. For organisational and structural reasons the UIMC has operated since 1995 under the aegis of the UIC as an autonomous special group of medical experts appointed by their railways as delegates of their medical services.

Activities

The general assemblies convened annually and the scientific conferences which take place every four years provide platforms for an international exchange of experience, advances in railway medicine through the presentation of scientific papers, and for the development of projects and the setting up of working parties. Within Europe there is close collaboration with the Community of European Railways CER with a view to harmonising the provisions relating to compatibility in cross-border traffic for interoperability purposes. On a worldwide basis there are currently working parties dealing with the following topics: Post-traumatic stress syndrome, Vigilance disorders, Criteria of fitness for service, including Ophthalmologic standards, Guidelines relating to the consumption of alcohol, drugs and medicines, Recommendations on the structuring of shift and night shift work, and also Special expert working parties in the areas of cardiology, diabetes mellitus and neurological/psychiatric disorders.

The papers and scientific studies are available on a railway medical database via this UIMC Home Page, please use the navigation on the left side (password required, please contact a member of the UIMC board: christian.gravert@deutschebahn.com

)

Objectives

The aim of all those employed on the railways is to ensure and to improve the safety, functioning and efficiency of the railways. Technical safety is naturally the chief concern. But at a time when great mental demands are made in respect of control and supervisory activities (associated with a high level of stress, substantial responsibility and intense working conditions), the human factor, human resources, the motivation and the reliability of railway staff assume greater significance. Healthy organisations require healthy workers and consequently they also need health specialists who are well acquainted with the working conditions and stresses and strains involved on the railways. The protection of health and safety standards at work, transport medicine and transport psychology, preventive occupational medicine, health care and the care of staff require the employment of railway medical officers as railway medical experts within their respective services. Having regard to globalisation and the worldwide exchange of knowledge, advantage should be taken of the synergy effect, and international collaboration should be fostered.

Invitation to participate

The UIMC therefore invites all UIC member railways whose medical services are not yet represented on the UIMC, to cooperate within or with the UIMC. All forms of membership including railway company observer status or membership through their umbrella organisations from all continents are welcome. The UIC contact in Paris is Meryem Belhaj (belhaj@uic.org

). Direct contact may also be made with the chairman of UIMC, Dr. P.-A. Voumard (pierre-albert.voumard@sbb.ch

) or the Secretary General of the UIMC, Dr Catherine COTHEREAU (catherine.cothereau@sncf.fr

).

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UIC Publications

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