The Delhi Cabinet on Monday approved the setting up of Rogi Kalyan Samitis, which would replace the existing hospital advisory committee, for improving availability and access to quality health care for all citizens, in particular the poor and vulnerable sections of society.

Announcing the decision following the meeting, Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit said these Samitis would try to increase responsiveness and ensure optimum utilisation of health institutions through active participation of communities. The Samitis would also put greater powers and autonomy in the hands of the medical superintendents and dispensary in-charges.

While functioning as facilitators and support structure, these Samitis would also ensure that health services are equitable and accessible. In addition to keeping an eye on the quality of service, they would also facilitate and monitor compliance with the public health standards adopted by the Delhi Government.

The Samitis are expected to ensure community participation in monitoring the functioning of the health care facilities and in improving the service delivery by making them more responsive to the community needs and also provide a mechanism for rational and transparent use of flexible funds made available to the hospitals and dispensaries.

As per the plans, all hospitals, including maternity homes, will have a Rogi Kalyan Samiti. At the State level, a Rogi Kalyan Samiti cell would coordinate, monitor and carry out the administrative works of all the Samitis which would function under the State Health Society or the Department of Health Family Welfare.

As for its composition, it was decided that the hospital Rogi Kalyan Samiti will have an MLA as chairman, Deputy Commissioner (Revenue) or a senior government officer as vice-chairman, medical superintendent of the hospital as member secretary, and other official and four non-official members. The number of members would, however, not exceed 11.