RTI forces RML hospital to adopt radiation safety measures

Countrys premier super speciality hospital Ram Manohar Lohia RML lacked radiation safety measures till an application under transparency law Right To Information RTI was filed Ghayshyam of east Delhi filed an innocous application in July 2011 asking RML whether it has taken measures

to provide safety to patients against radiation from medical machines as per the norms of the government
The RML found it has not

And it couldnt have told Ghanshyam that it violates government rules quotThe queries raised by the appellant Ghanshyam had some fundamental issues about radiation safetyquot the RML hospital told the Central Information Commission in a reply to Ghanshyams appeal

His appliction stirred action

The hospital took four months to comply with the government conditions including make the machines radiation safe and appointing a radiation safety officer under direct supervision of Atomic Energy Regulatory Board AERB top body on nuclear radiation safety

quotThe Respondent admits that because of this RTI application the hospital was forced in to developing a proper system to ensure radiation safety Answering these queries was very difficult since some of the necessary processes did not exist and a committee was setup which has taken appropriate corrective steps a radiation safety officer has been appointed in the hospital with the approval of AERBquot the hospital said in a written reply

Once that was done a detailed reply was given to Ghanshyam

That did not deter him for seeking penal action RML officials for not providing the information in time

The hospitals candid admission was enough for Information Commissioner Shailesh Gandhi to drop penalty charges and observed that the hospital had rightly taken the RTI application and the questions it posed to correct certain vital deficiencies in procedures

quotThe Commission would like to congratulate the public authority and the appellant for using this great democratic tool in the positive manner In view of this the penalty proceedings are dropped and the matter is closed at the Commissions endquot his order read

There are many other government hospitals which fail to comply with radiation safety norms Another RTI application by Rahul Verma of Uday Foundation had found that most of the hospitals in India dont comply with radiation safety measures prescribed by AERB

Date : 28 May, 2012
Reference : www.hindustantimes.com/India-news/NewDelhi/RTI-forces-RML-hospital-to-adopt-radiation-safety-

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