The State Information Commission, Haryana has asked private hospitals to “voluntarily place the maximum information”on their websites relating to the treatment of the economically weaker sections of the society.
The commission has also asked the government authorities to provide the “permissible”information to RTI applicants seeking information about private hospitals.
A bench of state information commissioners passed the judgment in this regard on May 15 this year after Gurgaon-based RTI activist Aseem Takyar had asked whether the records of private hospitals can be accessed by the public and if these hospitals come under the RTI Act. Takyar had filed an application in the information commission in September last year.
The bench comprising state chief information commissioner Naresh Gulati, state information commissioners Sajjan Singh and Maj Gen (retd) JS Kundu directed all private hospitals to maintain accurate records.
“The public authorities are advised that permissible information which is required to be accessed under section 2(f) of the Act is to be disclosed to the information seeker even if it is held by a private body... the commission advises the private respondents to consider and to voluntarily place the maximum information on its website relating to the treatment of the economic weaker sections of the society belonging to the State of Haryana as per terms and conditions settled between Huda and the hospitals,”the ruling said.
During April 2012-March 2013, the Gurgaon health department had nearly 20 per cent of its total RTI applications directed towards the private health facilities, to which they couldn’t respond.
“We have been receiving several applications questioning the functioning of various multi-speciality hospitals in Gurgaon. But we have to reject all of them as we could not divulge any such information,”said Dr Renu Saroha, deputy civil surgeon, Gurgaon Civil Hospital.