The grievance redress cells, as suggested by chief minister Mamata Banerjee during her meeting with junior doctors, already exist in all the five government medical colleges in the city. There are complaint boxes at the hospitals while a counter functions there in daytime for people to bring forward their complaints. Hospital authorities admitted that these grievance cells need to be revamped for better communication with the families of patients.
“There has to be a unit absolutely dedicated for grievances and it has to be manned 24×7 so that people can seek help, get information about their patients’ conditions and inform the authorities about their grievances,” said an official at RG Kar Medical College. The grievance counter located near the emergency wing at this hospital is open only during the day.
At Medical College and Hospital, TOI tried to call a number, displayed for people to lodge their complaints. But none attended the call.
“The complaint boxes cannot be called grievance cell. This can be used as feedback from patients or families. When a patient and his or her family are in distress, it would be ridiculous to ask them to write down their grievances and drop it in the box,” said a senior faculty member at Calcutta National Medical College.
As the chief minister asked the health department officials to set up proper grievance cells, hospitals are planning to revamp the existing system. For example, they are planning to make a person available at the cell round the clock, put up signages indicating where the unit is located, give patients’ updates to families and put up the contact number of the person who will deal with grievances.
“The existing system has several loopholes. We need to haul up the system so that patients’ families can get their grievances heard by the hospital authorities. We will be working once we get a nod from Swasthya Bhawan about the modalities on such a cell,” said an official at Medical College Hospital.
Source: Times of India