Over 4 months on, doctors in Mumbai await security upgrade

State govt and BMC turned their backs on the promises they made to enhance security at hospitals when they wanted doctors to call off strike in September 2015

With yet another incident of patients’ kin assaulting doctors occurring in Nagpur yesterday (see box), the Maharashtra Association of Resident Doctors (MARD) has blamed the state government and the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) for not fulfilling the promises they made over four months back to better security arrangements at Mumbai medical colleges.

SOS: Maharashtra Association of Resident Doctors has been demanding better security for doctors for a while. File pic
SOS: Maharashtra Association of Resident Doctors has been demanding better security for doctors for a while. File pic

In September last year, resident doctors of King Edward Memorial (KEM) hospital in Parel went on strike after relatives of a three-year-old patient assaulted three doctors after the child succumbed to dengue.

The state government and BMC had then called a meeting with the MARD officials on September 27 and accepted their demands.

The authorities had also set a deadline of November 30 to implement the security arrangements but MARD officials said no step has yet been taken in that direction.

“During the meeting, where the state education (medical) officials, deans of respective medical colleges and BMC officials were present along with us, we were assured 145 CCTV cameras and the hospitals were then supposed to conduct a meeting with MARD officials to decide the action plan to set up the same. While it was supposed to be done by November 30, situation of the hospitals is still the same. None of the promises were fulfilled,” said MARD president Dr Sagar Mundada.

Promises made
While Sion, Nair and KEM hospitals were assured 145 CCTV cameras each, the hospitals, which have a yearly OPD of more than 10 million patients, are working with 10 functional CCTV cameras.

BMC officials had confirmed that the cameras would be set up within a month’s time post the security audit of the hospitals.

At the same meeting, a rule to allow only two people inside the patient’s ward during visiting hours was promised to be brought into implementation within a week’s time. But nothing has happened on that front either.

Over four months later, two doctors were assaulted in Nagpur yesterday and security audits at Sion and Nair hospitals are yet to be done.

State education minister Vinod Tawde
State education minister Vinod Tawde

Responding to mid-day’s query, state education minister Vinod Tawde said, “We have given MARD in writing that the CCTV procedures will be completed by February 2 and they will be installed by May 1. We are not late.”

Two doctors assaulted in Nagpur

After the relatives of an HIV positive patient assaulted two doctors of Nagpur’s Indira Gandhi Government Medical College & Hospital after her death, the hospital’s doctors went on strike. A 45-year-old HIV positive woman, who was allegedly already critical, died in the pulmonary medicine ward of the hospital on Tuesday afternoon.

The patient was being treated for intracranial bleeding and had a poor prognosis.

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