Saturday, January 26, 2008

Accountability in GH - 3 (The HOD agrees)

There is some wonderful news on this front. We tried to meet the HOD of the Cardio Thoracic block twice this week. We succeeded only the second time. We told him that we were social workers and were interested in implementing a system where in patients are registered and are sent back home, after giving a registration number and a tentative date of surgery. This can be updated to them over phone or through a letter. There will also be a phone number on which patients call up and check their status. He said how this will not work since there are a lot of people coming with recommendation. He showed us how he has got letters from politicians. He specifically told me of an ex Health Minister himself giving a recommendation letter. he showed me a bunch of 10-15 such letters. He said these are the issues, and if he does not listen to them, then he will be transferred as a punishment. Then we told him, that we will accommodate even recommendations, but still bringing in a token system will be of wonderful use to the patients. We told him that we will bear all the costs of putting up such a system and later transfer the system to the hospital after 1 or 2 years. He seemed convinced and called in two of his colleagues in the same department to discuss the idea.

They were Dr. Raja venkatesh and Dr.Venkatachalam. They gave me suggestions like doing some other kind of work. Dr.Harshavardhan said we can help in writing Drug slips for out patients or help in keying in case histories. We were not at all interested. We told them clearly that we intend to work only on the waiting time issue, though once some sort of solution comes up for that, we might consider doing other things also. But Dr.Harshavardhan spoke well through out. Since we said we will take up all the costs, he said that he did not have any objection if we want to implement it. And that he will co-operate with us. He said, he also was keen on doing something different and better than other units, and he wanted this unit to be a model. The only thing he said was that we need to get permission from the dean of the college, and hence asked us to come with a letter addressed to the Dean through the HOD, CT block. We are preparing that note and some kind of time line for implementing the system. We hope the dean agrees. But that we have got the consent of the HOD is a very important step forward. And once the dean also agrees, that IS something :-)

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