As reported by Pallavi Singh in expressindia.com on 15 May 2008:
Now, hospital rights on RTI activist’s list - ExpressIndia.Com
Now, hospital rights on RTI activist’s list
New Delhi, May 14 Having propelled the public to invoke the Right to Information (RTI) Act for obtaining information on a variety of issues, social activist and Magsaysay awardee Arvind Kejriwal is taking his campaign for people’s rights to hospitals in the Capital.
From today onwards, volunteers from the Sunder Nagri branch of Kejriwal’s Parivartan will begin a campaign at the government-run Guru Tegh Bahadur (GTB) Hospital in Shahdara to identify lacunae in the distribution of medication to patients.
Their tool will be RTI applications once again. Parivartan volunteers will be filing these on behalf of patients denied medical facilities by the hospital.
“For quite some time now, our volunteers have been taking patients, repeatedly turned away by the hospital’s drug store without complete medication prescribed by doctors, to the hospital. Often, they were asked to get tests done from outside the hospital and in most cases, patients were denied medicines,” Kejriwal said.
He said he sought permission from the Delhi government to carry out an audit of the entire paper trail at the hospital. “The government turned down the offer but insisted there was no shortage of funds for hospitals,” Kejriwal said.In a meeting between the hospital’s resident doctors’ association, medical superintendent and Health Secretary Vivek Rae earlier this month, the poor state of medical facilities at the hospital found special mention. Earlier, in an audit conducted at the hospital, volunteers from Parivartan found the drug store didn’t have enough medical supplies for three months — a policy requirement for the hospital — and medical equipment for tests. “Patients were repeatedly being asked to get tests done from outside,” Kejriwal said.
While his organisation has already filed a few RTI applications with the hospital, volunteers from Parivartan would now be filing RTI applications for every patient, who is denied a full dose of medication and diagnostic tests. “We are going to ask every patient in queue before the hospital pharmacy if he/she is being given medicines. If not, we’ll keep a record and file RTI applications. This will help us understand the shortcomings in the system,” he said.