Display names, availability of medicines in hospitals: SIC to Govt

KL Report

SRINAGAR

The Jammu and Kashmir State Information Commissioner (SIC) has directed the state government to ensure display of lists of names and availability of the medicines in all the government hospitals across the state.

Dr. SK Sharma, the Information Commissioner has passed the order while disposing a complaint filed by an RTI activist Deepak Sharma. In his five pages judgment the commission vide its order number SIC-J-A-46-2014/108 has directed the state government through Commissioner Secretary Health and Medical Education department to ensure display list of all medicines including life saving drugs available to the patients free of cost at prominent places in the hospitals and health centers for the benefits of the general public within a month time.

Earlier in his complainant to the commission Sharma had sought a direction for the Hospital authorities to ensure compliance of section 4 of the J&K Right to Information Act 2009, which obligates a public authority to proactively display the information held by it.

Sharing details of the case, Sharma stated that it is a common experience that though the Government claims that many medicines including life saving drugs are made available in hospitals and other health institutions and these drugs are meant for free distribution to patients, but usually the patients are not given the medicines available in the hospitals which is meant for free public distribution and are asked to purchase the medicines from the market.

To find the fate of such medicines available in the hospitals, he filed an RTI application to Government Medical College and Hospital Jammu and raised queries which included to know the details of all medicines including life saving drugs and other surgical products available in the stores of hospitals and also asked the details of medicines available in the store that has crossed the expiry date.

Being aggrieved by the reply of the PIO, the activist filed a complaint in the State Information Commission to issue order to the hospital authorities to display information regarding availability of medicines, proactively under section 4 of the J&K RTI Act 2009.

Now the Commissioner Secretary Health and Medical Education, Principal Government Medical College and Hospital and Director Health Services have been asked to ensure that the availability of all medicines is displayed at prominent places of all hospitals and health centers for the benefit of the general public within one month of passing the order.

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