27 govt hospitals can now issue disability certificates
The Delhi government has designated 27 government hospitals in all 11 districts to issue disability certificates under the new central Rights of Persons with Disabilities Act, 2016, for 21 conditions.
The May 2 circular also clarifies the composition of the medical board that will issue the certificates.
“Hospitals under the previous act were still issuing certificates, but the number of disabilities went up in the new act and these hospitals did not have the department or specialists to diagnose them,” said a senior official from Delhi government’s health department.
The newly designated hospitals will ensure that people do not have to go from hospital to hospital to get the certificates.
The Rights of Persons with Disabilities Act, 2016, now includes conditions like dwarfism, multiple sclerosis, and acid attack.
“The rules were notified in 2018, but till the time government notified which hospitals and which specialists could issue these certificates, how could anyone do it? Last year, some certificates for previous disabilities were issued on compassionate grounds, but people could not get certificates for the new illnesses,” said Dr Satendra Singh, Associate Professor of Physiology at the University College of Medical Sciences. “Even for conditions that were covered under the previous act, there were changes in the criteria for criteria for visual disabilities and even the authority to diagnose dyslexia was shifted from a psychiatrist to a paediatrician and a psychologist. This was much needed,” said Singh.