RTI project has been initiated by Chhahari Nepal for Mental Health and implementation phase was conducted by the St Xaviers Bachelor is Social work students placed in Chhahari for one year work placement. The project was launched by the team as per the purpose of advocacy and for understanding the budget formation in the mental health sector in Nepal.
The Objectives of this project:
- To spread the notion that RTI can be used for advocacy by obtaining the desired information.
- To obtain information about the budgeting in the mental health sector from Ministry of Health and Population and Ministry of Women, Children and Social Welfare.
- To utilize the information for the benefit of the clients of Chhahari Nepal for Mental Health.
Right to Information in Nepal
The Constitution of Kingdom of Nepal 1990 was the first constitution to guarantee the Right to Information as a fundamental right of the citizens. Article 16 of this constitution provided Nepalese citizen the right to demand and receive information on any matter of public importance, except on any matter about which secrecy is to be maintained by law. Similarly, the current Interim Constitution, 2007 has made a similar provision with some expansion on Right to Information in Article 27 as Fundamental Right. The current provision not only provides right to information on matter of public importance but also to the individual information.
In 2007, Nepal Government enacted Right to Information Act to give effect to the constitutionally protected right to information. Article 3 of this Act provides every citizen right to information and access to the information held in the public agencies. Similarly, this Act has also made a provision of an independent 'National Information Commission' for the protection, promotion and exercise of Right to Information. National Information Commission was constituted on June 14, 2008. Likewise, Right to Information Regulation was enacted on Feb 9, 2009 to implement the Act effectively. Classification Committee under the section 27 of the Right to Information Act, 2007 has classified certain documents for the protection of information.
The formal letters were prepared for submission to be made in the Ministries. The team leaders (St Xaviers Students) after finalization of the questionnaires went to the Ministry of Health and Population for letter submission and finally after a month the trainee received the response of the questionnaire submitted which was about laws, policies and programs for mental health sectors and it’s processing. The response from the ministry was delayed due to some political obstruction however it was then discussed and evaluated within the RTI operational team. The trainee had also visited NIC (National Information Commission) for the further suggestion.
RTI Questionnaires Response from Health and Population Ministry
1) Through health and population ministry, including the main management branch and National health training center, orientation program are being conducted, also mental hospital has been conducting treatment programs, related to mental health. Also, 15 wards are to be managed in a compulsory manner, for the treatment of mental health patients in all teaching hospitals. Similarly, even in the central, regional and zonal hospitals, different wards are managed for the mental patient. In many of the nongovernmental organizations, people having problems regarding mental health are being treated.
2) This ministry has given priority to the three year plan and the budget allocated by NHSP II for the mental health program.
3) Among the Rs. 36, 72, 95,040 thousand allocated by Health and Population Ministry for running year 2072/73( 2015-2016) Rs.2 crore is allocated for mental hospital and Rs 28 lakh is allocated for the programs to be conducted by main management branch regarding mental health.
4) To bring solidarity in the subsidy that are provided in order to conduct health related program and nongovernmental health service, as well as to do optimum utilization of resources and to make the report writing process materialistic, for budget indicator preparation related to subsidy available, regulations were made to make the subsidy available for NGO by a committee meeting by various governmental hospital of this ministry.
We are trying to extract more information about mental health agencies that are getting fund from ministry which will be dealt in the coming days.Attachments: