New Delhi: The Central Information
Commission has directed the Delhi Government to install
display boards outside hospitals mentioning facilities
available to patients belonging to the BPL category.
The directions of the transparency panel came on the plea
of a woman who was allegedly asked to shell out Rs 5000 for
the surgery of her broken arm by officials of Guru Teg Bahadur
Hospital despite she being eligible for free treatment under
Shakuntala Devi of Seemapuri had a fracture in her hand
on April 1 for which she went to the hospital. After a month,
the doctors after removing the plaster told her that bones are
not yet aligned. Hence, she needs operation and blood for
which Rs 5000 should be deposited to the hospital.
After this, Devi filed an RTI application with the
hospital seeking details of facilities provided for the BPL
card holders by the government and under which rule she was
asked to pay Rs 5,000 for the surgery.
The Public Information Officer told the Commission that
certain orthopaedic implants may not be in stock and in such
situations the patient is asked to pay for the orthopaedic
"However, the Arogyanidhi fund is available with the
Ministry of Health of Delhi government which provided
assistance to BPL patients for procurement of orthopaedic
implants," he said.
Information Commissioner Shailesh Gandhi directed the
official to ensure that boards carrying detailed information
about the facilities available to BPL patients should be
installed at the hospital.
"The Commission under its powers under section 25 (5) of
the RTI Act also directs the Secretary (Health and Family
Welfare, Govt. of NCT of Delhi) to ensure that boards are put
up prominently in Hindi in all the Delhi government hospitals
about the facility available to BPL patients from the
Arogyanidhi fund. These will also give information about how
to apply and where to apply," Gandhi said asking the official
to comply with the direction before October 5.