The annual UIMC (International Union of Railway Medical Services) congress was hosted by Hungarian Railways Health Care Services Non-profit Company. The congress was opened by Dr Zsolt Pásztély, Managing Director, Dr János Fónagy, State Secretary of the Ministry of National Development, Dr Pierre-Albert Voumard, President of UIMC and Dr Gábor Fónyad, Medical Director and scientific organiser of the conference.
The UIMC General Assembly was held during the congress on 3 October 2014. Dr Voumard opened the General Assembly by welcoming all participants to Budapest and thanked Hungarian Railways Health Care Services Non-profit Company for the perfect organisation of the meeting.
In his annual report Dr Voumard gave a summary of UIMC activities since the last Congress in Sydney in 2013. He expressed his gratitude to the members of the Management Committee, who met on 30 September, for their commitment and efforts. He outlined the role played by Dr Palma (RFI) in promoting medical aspects within the CER Human Resources Directors Group and European Railway Agency (ERA) and he informed the participants that Mr Olaf Mette from ERA was going to join the scientific part of the UIMC annual congress.
He also informed the meeting that in the last two years major efforts had been invested in updating the UIC Vademecum. The result of this activity is important and its main objective is to reach a consensus on the regular medical fitness criteria that could be adopted by the European Railway Agency.
For the future, the President stressed the importance of consolidating the relationships with other international institutions, such as the European Railway Agency, in order to remain a privileged and credible partner in railway medicine. He asked for the support of all the members of UIMC in order to face these complex challenges.
Regarding the membership situation, Dr Voumard was pleased to announce that UIMC is welcoming four new medical services: SRO (Saudi Arabia Organisation), represented by Dr Alamar, AAFER Ltd, represented by Dr Fernandes, BVG (Berliner Verkehrsbetriebe), represented by Dr Huetten and HML Ltd (Health Management Ltd), represented by Dr Cooper.
The technical day on 2 October was dedicated to a visit to Knorr-Bremse factory in Soroksár, where railway brake systems are produced, and to the Railway Museum exhibition.
The scientific congress provided members the opportunity of holding an in-depth discussion on relevant topics such as:
- Diabetes mellitus and traffic safety
- The role of the psychosocial survey carried out at MÁV on the prevention of railway accidents
- Cardiovascular screening of driver work strain
- Work related musculoskeletal disorders in Italian Railways
- The new UIMC railway medical guidelines
- Medicine of the future
- The effect of the working and protective clothing of the railway staff working outdoors on their thermoregulation
- The peculiarities of industrial railway activity in the ISD Dunaferr area.
- Short line railroad industry/freight & passenger rail/in the United States
- Influence on the result of medical aptitude tests by the revision of visual acuity in the railway driver licence by the EJR
- Psychological examinations to prevent critical events
- Developing a Road Vehicle Driving Policy in a Railway Organisation
- Screening Rail Safety Workers for Obstructive Sleep Apnoea: Comparison Between Clinical Risk Factors and the Epworth Sleepiness Scale
- Screening OSAS (Obstructive Sleep Apnea Syndrome) in Australia and in Belgium
- UK occupational health – national changes
- Revision of EU train driver certification scheme: Improving medical specifications
In the last part of the meeting, Olaf Mette, Senior Project Officer for Interoperability at ERA, presented the first Revision of the European Train Driver Licence with the improving of medical specifications. An intensive and interesting debate moderated by Dr Voumard followed this presentation.
The next meeting of the UIMC Management Committee will be held in Paris on 23 April 2015.
The 2015 annual UIMC Scientific Congress and General Assembly will take place from 23 – 25 September in Berlin, Germany, at the joint invitation of DB AG and the IAS.