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Saturday, 27 September 2014

Chennai hospitals surveyed for accessibility - CHENNAI

64 hospitals responded to a questionnaire on the availability of facilities for disabled persons

A recent survey of city hospitals for their accessibility to people with disabilities received mixed response. While private hospitals seemed to be receptive to the exercise, government hospitals seemed unwilling to allow audits.

According to Smitha Sadasivan of the Disabilities Legislation Unit (DLU), hospitals are the first and basic unit that a person with disabilities needs accessibility to. And that is why, DLU, part of Vidya Sagar — which is a non-profit organisation working with persons with disabilities — recently conducted the study in 98 hospitals, with the help of students from the NSS unit of School of Excellence in Law.

“We wanted to audit the accessibility of city hospitals in terms of their infrastructure, diagnostic equipment, procedures as well their attitudinal response to the needs of disabled persons,” Ms. Sadasivan said, adding that an important feature they looked for was the seeking of informed consent from disabled people.

Sixty-four hospitals responded to a questionnaire on the availability of ramps, parking facilities, accessibility indicators like signage, and wheelchair-accommodative lifts, and 34 hospitals did not.

“We also wanted to know if hospitals had conducted training for employees on the requirements of people with disabilities,” said Salomi Christie, one of the students who visited the hospitals.

“Many private hospitals treated the survey with respect,” said Ms. Sadasivan, adding that the same could not be said of government hospitals.

“Repeated requests to hospital authorities led us to the office of the Directorate of Medical Education. We were finally told a letter would be sent to us regarding permission to audit government hospitals. It has been a week, and no letter has been received so far,” she added.

The results of the survey will be released on October 24, observed as United Nations Day, Ms. Sadasivan said.

Study was conducted by a unit of Vidya Sagar, with the help of students.

Source : The Hindu , 22nd Sep 2014

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