One-pass-per-patient rule only on paper?

May 14, 2013, 07:57 IST | Neha Tripathi

The one-relative-per-patient rule was to be enforced from May 6; BMC hospitals still grappling with lack of communication between top brass and ground workers

There is a lot of confusion surrounding the one-pass-per-patient policy in the city civic hospitals. According to the policy, only one relative will be allowed to stay with a patient in the general ward, and two people with a patient admitted in the ICU. The rule, that was supposed to come into effect from May 6, has not been implemented yet. Moreover, there seems to be a communication gap between authorities and staff at ground level regarding the re-implementation of the rule that was already in existence in 2011.

Confusion: The dean of KEM hospital declares that the policy is in effect. However, there are no signs of its implementation at ground level. Pic/Satyajit Desai 

KEM Hospital
On one hand, Dean of KEM hospital Dr Sandya Kamath claims to have the passes in place, whereas those working at the ground level have no clue about the same.

“The passes arrived at the hospital on Friday. The system has already been implemented in our hospital. Relatives of patients admitted since then are being allowed inside only with the pass.”

On the other hand, relatives of new patients had no clue about the system and they were being allowed to stay back with the patients as earlier.

Nair Hospital
According to Additional Municipal Commissioner Manisha Mhaiskar, the passes have arrived at all hospitals and she has gotten the confirmation from the printing press.

However, Dr Minoo Sanjana, dean, Nair hospital, said, “We are waiting for new passes to arrive which would be here in two days, so that the rule can be enforced.”

To add to the confusion, many nurses in-charge were not aware of this system. “Though the rule of one-pass-per-patient exists since 2011, we haven’t been told to follow it yet,” said a nursing staff.

Sion Hospital
Security Officer of Sion Hospital Parag Kuchekar explained, “The rule has been implemented from today (Monday). We have made sure that there are three security guards per section, two female and one male. Even if anybody manages to slip through this security system, our head constables will make sure that they cannot pass through further checks without having security passes with them.”

The other side
“Any new system needs a little time to be implemented. I am sure that it will be implemented within this week,” said Mhaiskar. “Regarding security at civic hospitals, I have spoken to the concerned additional commissioner and he has assured me that recruitment of 1,000 security men is in process and hospitals will be given priority.”

Security woes
Nair hospital: Out of 113 sanctioned security personnel, the hospital uses the services of 77 active security guards. Only 21 security guards per shift are available for 16 buildings in the hospital premises. When asked about the situation, Dr Minoo Sanjana said, “The main challenge is patrolling. It is very essential for any hospital to have a strong security team. We have already started registrations and will have additional 36 security guards soon.” These guards, once appointed, have to undergo training provided by the government that will take at least 6 months for them to be ready for the job.

Sion Hospital: 131 security guards are sanctioned for eight buildings of Sion hospital. Out of these, 54 vacancies are yet to be filled. The security guards in the hospital are falling short. The hospital is also running short of ward boys. The recruitment for guards is in process. The decision to appoint more guards is pending since 2009.

This system is creating a fear for those who are new to the city and have come only for treatment.
— Bhaskar Chinchole, Nashik resident (admitted brother at Sion hospital)

At least two relatives are required: one beside the patient and the other outside the ward to take care of paperwork, getting medicines and arranging for many other emergency things. How can this system work? Moreover, in the night, it becomes all the more difficult since there is less hospital staff here and almost all the work is carried out by relatives of the patient.
— Shivaji Pol (has admitted his mother at Sion hospital)

We are here since nineteen days for my two-year-old child’s treatment. He does not stay without his mom and my wife has to be with him all the time. I am outside the ward. It is not possible for me to leave my wife alone and this system is very difficult for relatives to follow.
— Shivkumar Nagjhare, Akola resident (admitted his son at KEM hospital)

I am not aware of any such system but it will be a big problem for us. One person alone cannot handle a patient. Minimum of two people are required. The authorities concerned should understand this and redesign their system in a way that at least two relatives per patient are allowed.
— Ravindra Deore, Dhule resident (admitted his mother at KEM Hospital)

The rule is definitely made the for benefit of public but they should consider some cases. All cases cannot be categorised under same rule. Situations are different with every patient and their respective families.
— Aruna Solanki, a Powai resident (Nephew admitted to Nair hospital ICU)

Recruitment pending
Sion hospital has 8 buildings, for which 131 security guards are sanctioned. Out of these 54 vacancies are yet to be filled. Therefore, the security guards in the hospital are falling short as per the necessary requirements. Similarly, the hospital is short of ward boys. The recruitment for guards is in process. Assurance has been given that this problem will be solved shortly. From 2009, the decision to appoint guards has been pending. Since the matter has been cleared, the hospital will hopefully have adequate security guards soon. 

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