Rogi Kalyan Samiti: management of public hospitals through community participation

Rogi Kalyan Samiti: management of public hospitals through community participation

An innovative project for the management of public hospitals through community participation in the state of Madhya Pradesh, India

Ironically it was the plague scare of 1994 that woke up the sleeping health care behemoth of the central Indian state of Madhya Pradesh.

As the panic of an impending epidemic swept across western and central India, the District Magistrate of Indore SR Mohanty, 35 combined with the people of the industrial town devised an innovative plan to overhaul the health delivery system of the town to restore people’s faith. The seven storey, 1000 bed Maharaja Yashwant Rao Hospital had never been cleaned in nearly half a century of its existence.

In the two months that it took to completely refurbish the hospital from scratch, the germ of a new idea was born. The government hospital was handed over to a committee of people’s representative called the ROGI KALYAN SAMITI (RKS) to bring about a permanence in maintenance and augmentation of facilities.

People’s participation with only very basic control in hands of the state apparatus proved so successful that it was replicated over each of the 61 districts in the state covering as many district hospitals and 450 smaller primary and community health centres.

Today more than Rs 370 million has been collected and spent by various RKS bodies for improving facilities in these hospitals in the state, which is multi time more than the state could put into the system.

Mohanty feels people essentially want to help themselves and good governance is about showing them the way and not interfering. [Author]

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