All-men brigade to ‘safeguard’ Kerala’s private hospitals

Relatives or friends of patients venting their anger against private hospital staff in Kerala for alleged medical lapses need to be careful from now.

An association of doctors and private hospitals here is planning to form an ‘all-men protection brigade’ involving their staff to ensure the security for health workers, who it claimed, are frequently facing physical attacks.

At least two well-trained security guards will be appointed in each institution. Closed-circuit television cameras will be installed at the labour ward, intensive care unit, casualty ward, and the triage for admitting COVID-19 patients and at the hospital entrance. The brigade members too will be trained in self-defence. Regular drills will also be conducted.

C.M. Aboobacker, president, Qualified Private Medical Practitioners’ Association (QPMPA), said a special alarm bell would be installed at the labour ward, intensive care unit, casualty ward, and the COVID triage.

In the event of the ringing of the alarm bell, all the male staff, including doctors, nurses, nursing assistants, and the staff in the security, paramedical, and office would reach the spot. Staff attending to emergency and critically ill patients would be spared from this. They would try to resist people who hurl abuses at health workers, or those who are about to do it, and pacify them. They would also stop anyone from ransacking the furniture and other equipment in the hospital.

Police personnel would be informed about the incident without losing time and members of the association as well as friends would be tipped off. The incident could be recorded on mobile phones. If some people were found to be upset and seething with anger after losing their loved ones, the brigade members would try to assuage their feelings without losing their cool. The bodies would be handed over fast and more time would be given to clear the bills.

The QPMA has around 2,000 doctors as its members and over 1,000 affiliated hospitals across the State. Dr. Aboobacker said that though the Kerala Healthcare Service Persons and Healthcare Service Institutions (Prevention Of Violence And Damage To Property) Act, 2012, had a provision to deal with violence against health workers, there had been inordinate delay in filing first information report by the police. Such cases were being tampered with because of political interventions also, he added.

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Printable version | Jul 25, 2021 3:52:52 PM |

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