The Rogi Kalyan Samitis (Patients’ Welfare Committees) have been made accountable, transparent and minimum service guarantee-based with a view to providing better and easy-to-reach medical services to people. The committees doing excellent work within these parameters will be awarded and for this purpose an Innovative Challenge Fund will be created.
The Rogi Kalyan Samitis right from primary health centres to up to district hospitals have been made move effective in the light of past experiences so that they can take decisions at the local level itself and implement them for the benefit of patients. An steering team will be set up at the headquarters level, which will monitor the committees of all the levels. The financial decisions taken by the committees will also be sanctioned at the headquarters level. The new rules and directives endorsed by the cabinet have been made more flexible and easy. There will be two levels in these committees set up at medical colleges, district hospitals, civil hospitals, community health centres and primary health centres. One will executive body and another one will be general body. The Rogi Kalyan Samiti of a district hospital will be chaired by the collector while its members will include chief medical and health officer, two senior medical officers including one lady doctor, district project officer of Women and Child Development Department, Executive Engineer of PWD, Incharge officer of Municipal Corporation/Nagar Palika, a representative of NGO and a donor. The maximum duration of the membership of a donor member of the committee will be three years. A social worker and a representative of medical administration will also be the members of the committee. Chief Hospital Superintendent will be member-secretary of the committee. The meeting of the executive body will be held every three months. It will be presided over by the collector and in his absence by the chief medical and health officer.
The general body of a Rogi Kalyan Samiti will be chaired by the Incharge minister of the district while the civil surgeon cum hospital superintendent will be its member-secretary. The members of the committee will include MPs of Lok Sabha and Rajhya Sabha, all the MLAs of the district concerned, Municipal Corporation Mayor/Nagar Panchayat president/Local body president, the collector, the chief medical and health officer, CEO of Zila Panchayat, executive engineer of PWD, divisional engineer MP State Electricity Board, district unit head of Indian Medical Association, two social workers active in the medical sector, journalists, district public relations officer and a donor who donates Rs one lakh or more. Similar committees will also be constituted at tehsil and block levels where a donor who donates Rs 50 thousand or more will be made a member along with other members. The general body meeting will be held once a year but can be convened another time also if one-third members of the general body call for it.
The financial powers of he executive committee and general body of a Rogi Kalyan Committee have also been defined. The chairperson of the general body of district level committee will have the powers to sanction Rs 10 lakh or more while the executive committee headed by the district collectors can sanction Rs 5 lakh to Rs 10 lakh. The chairperson the general body of the Rogi Kalyan Samiti at the primary health centre level will have the powers to sanction Rs two lakh and the member-secretary can sanction Rs one lakh. The Rogi Kalyan Samiti will have the powers to fix a fees to be recovered from patients coming to hospitals and spend the same on the day-to-day expenses of the committee apart from extending financial help to poor patients. According to the new rules, if a patient does not have a BPL card and is unable to pay the fixed charge, then the Incharge officer will have the powers to allow him free treatment.
The brightest aspect of the Rogi Kalyan Samiti in favour of patients is that needy persons will have the right to get medical services in a transparent way. The activities of Rogi Kalyan Samitis have also been linked with right to information. According to the fresh decision, the facility to register complaint will be available at every hospital. The institution will display the address and telephone number of the authority to whom a complaint will be made. The income sources of Rogi Kalyan Samitis have also been made explicit. These sources will include fees recovered by patients, donations received from donors, grants received from the Union or state governments, income generated from commercial activities, investment and income received from participation of private operators in medical services.