Staff Reporter

Thiruvananthapuram: In yet another incident, which evoked strong reactions from the medical fraternity as well as civic authorities, all services at the Women and Children Hospital, Thycaud, were disrupted for hours on Wednesday when a person who accompanied a patient to the out-patient clinic attacked the security personnel.

Two security personnel, who sustained injuries, were admitted to the General Hospital. One of them lost two of his teeth in the violence.

Hospital authorities said a patient, Usha, accompanied by her mother and a male companion, Manoj, had come to the OP clinic. As the clinic was crowded, the security personnel refused to allow the male companion inside. There were arguments between the security staff and the patient and her relatives, following which Mr. Manoj assaulted the three security staff on duty.

The hospital authorities had to call in the police to handle the scene.

Even though the hospital staff got together to stage a protest, the situation was defused with the intervention of the hospital authorities, Deputy District Medical Officer and V. Sivankutty, MLA.

The police said two cases of simple assault were registered in connection with the incident, against Mr. Manoj and Balachandran Nair, one of the security staff, on the basis of a complaint given by the patient .

The hospital authorities said the security staff had been given instructions regarding the entry of those accompanying patients, as part of crowd control measures at the hospital.

“We are handling nearly 700 to 800 OP cases daily and unless we restrict the entry of those accompanying the patients into the OP area, doctors will not even be able to examine patients. The security staff have been complaining that this puts them at the risk of violence from the public. The hospital is undergoing major upgrade to seek NABH accreditation and it is unfortunate that such incidents should happen here,” an official said.

It was only a few days ago that a similar incident occurred at the Medical College Hospital casualty, following which junior doctors went on a three-day strike demanding a safe work environment. The strike was called off only after the Health Minister assured the doctors of enhanced security arrangements at the casualty.

In a statement, Mr. Sivankutty demanded that the government take stern measures to prevent such assaults in hospitals.