Patients should feel safe at hospitals

Updated: Dec 28, 2018, 05:41 IST | mid-day correspondent | Mumbai

Hospitals, look sharp, upgrade, evolve and put safety at the top of the administration ladder

A ward boy was arrested from a Kalwa hospital for allegedly molesting a 14-year-old patient in the Intensive Care Unit (ICU). The hospital registered an FIR and fired the man from the job. A report in this paper said that the accused had been working at the hospital for the past seven months.

He tried to molest an epileptic girl who was in serious condition. Another patient actually saw the ward boy tie the girl's hands and was told to mind her business when she asked what he was doing. When she saw him touching her inappropriately she raised an alarm. He was caught by security.

The incident once again throws the spotlight on shrinking safe spaces. Clinics and hospitals are places where patients come in to be healed. The ailing are naturally in a vulnerable state and defenceless when they are admitted. Medical facilities need to be extremely sure of the security they provide to those inside their space. CCTVs must be working, and of the best quality, at entrances and exits of the facility.

There must be alarms that are accessible to patients, their relatives, too, must have safe spaces to stay and wait while their loved one is undergoing treatment. Ward boys and nurses must be employed after a thorough background check. One does concede though that while this may not be a foolproof measure it is necessary. It is therefore important that the accused, if found guilty, is punished but also should not be employed as a ward boy anywhere else.

Security should be given the highest priority in these places where people have come to be healed. Rules should be absolutely watertight and the management's approach must be non-negotiable when it comes to this aspect. Hospitals, look sharp, upgrade, evolve and put safety at the top of the administration ladder.

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