Heart attacks are plaguing the Mumbai police.
A total of 78 policemen have died since 2014 because of heart attacks. Last week, a 45-year-old naik at Jogeshwari police station in Mumbai became the latest victim.
Pravin Gaikwad, who had 23 years on the force, was on a 15-day leave and was busy trying to get admission to college for his son. Gaikwad was admitted to VN Desai Hospital after he complained of chest pain. He died during the treatment. Police surgeon SM Patil told HT that a compulsory health checkup was conducted every year for all policemen and officers above the age of 50.
“Now, after incidents of officers below 50 years of age dying of heart attacks, we see a need to conduct a compulsory medical checkup for policemen above 40 years,” he said.
Patil added that the reason for heart attacks needs to be ascertained and that they would keep a record of it. The surgeon said having meals on time and doing cardio-vascular exercise daily is required in the force. They have put up diet charts in the 12 police clinics.
Recently, a medical checkup was conducted for 18,000 policemen and appropriate suggestions were given to them.
“We conduct medical camps and counsellings. Since 2005, we have a cashless treatment scheme for five health issues. We have made everything available to the police, but they must come to us,” said Patil. Long duty hours of the police have been a major factor contributing to the stress.
Mumbai police spokesperson, deputy commissioner of police, Ashok Dudhe, said, “We are trying to work out a plan to lessen the duty hours. We also keep conducting stress-management programmes every year.”
An officer said to avoid early deaths because of health problems, the body mass index (BMI) of policemen and officers was maintained and appropriate action is taken against those who failed to maintain their BMI.
Body mass index is a measure of body fat based on height and weight that applies to adult men and women. “The action also includes salary cuts,” the official added.