The chief medical superintendent of peripheral BMC hospitals Dr Seema Malik arrived Monday at Rajawadi hospital to assess the security arrangements there.
On Saturday evening, relatives of accident victim Afzal Akmal Khan, who succumbed to his injuries, ransacked the hospital and asaulted a nurse and doctor alleging medical negligence. They also attacked the Intensive Care Unit. Following this, the hospital staff had gone on strike protesting against the violence.
They withdrew their strike Monday afternoon after assurance of action by hospital authorities.
To prevent any such incident in the future, proposals have been made for a metal grill at the ICU entrance, more security staff and training of security staff by CISF personnel or Mumbai police officials.
Dr Malik inspected the hospital surroundings including the ICU and the Casualty Ward and also assessed the security.
Dr Malik spoke to the staff about the strike and assured them that action against the accused would be taken immediately. It has been proposed that a metal grill or barricade would be fixed at the entrance of the ICU. Doctors from the ICU will remain on the other side of the grill and communicate with the relatives of patients.
The seating arrangements made right outside the ICU at the hospital will be removed and new seating arrangements for relatives of patients would be made near the entrance of the hospital's main building. More security staff will also be posted near the entrance and the casualty ward to ensure safety of the doctors and hospital staff. Only one relative will be allowed to enter the ICU to meet the patient at any point of time.
When inquired if any action was taken against the hospital security for not being able to control the enraged relatives, Dr Malik said, “It is sad that such incidents are becoming a regular phenomenon. The doctors claimed that the security staff did their best to control the situation during the incident. So no action will be taken against them.”
Dr Malik added, “I have instructed the authorities to fix a metal grill at the entrance and on the windows of the ICU. The doctors will thus be safe behind the grills in case of any untoward incident. Apart from posting more guards near the ICU the entrance of relatives towards the ICU will be restricted. We will also install a communication system for the doctors to make announcements to inform the relatives of the patients admitted in the ICU.”
Though the sanctioned number of security staff is 35 at Rajawadi hospital, about 18 of them are lying vacant. 10 private security guards are currently on duty at Rajawadi.
Manisha Mhaiskar, Additional Municipal Commissioner, BMC said, “We have already issued advertisements for the post of security guards at BMC offices and hospitals. The vacant posts will be filled within next two months. We are also planning to train the existing guards with the help of CISF or Mumbai police in tackling such situations.”
She added, “We are planning to train doctors with the help of senior doctors from psychiatry department on how to disclose the news of a patient’s death to the relatives as it is a very sensitive matter.”