A staff member at the hospital forced a patient at the Vavuniya General Hospital, and the patient’s wife to pay Rs. 150,000/- as a bribe in order to speed up the medical process of the patient. After the bribe was paid, the wife reported the incident to the police, who ordered the hospital to hold an inquiry. However, no inquiry was held by the hospital, allegedly due to the absence of the staff member in question on the date of the inquiry. The wife then filed an Information Request, facilitated by TISL, asking for the inquiry report. In order to respond to the Request, the hospital held the inquiry and furnished information that the staff member was supposedly absent on the day that the bribe was purportedly paid. Another Information Request was then filed to obtain the hospital attendance sheet, in order to validate the inquiry report. In response, an attendance sheet of an employee was provided. However, the said attendance sheet(which showed the staff member’s name and absence on the said dates) had been crossed off with correctional ink and was purportedly that of another staff member. Another RTI was thereafter filed to get clarification on the matter. Meanwhile, the matter was reported to the Provincial Health Director, who investigated the case and issued a punishment transfer order to the staff member.
While the inquiry was ongoing, the staff member of the hospital, having become worried at the response of the hospital to the information request, wrote to the information requestor, promising to pay back the money received as a bribe.
Following these actions, the staff member was arrested by the police. Consequent to a complaint made to the Commission for the Investigation of Allegations of Bribery or Corruption (CIABOC), the issue has been inquired into, and the hospital worker has now begun to repay the money to the victim.