The state government's decision to improve security at the government-run JJ Hospital at south Mumbai may provide some respite to more than 3,500 resident doctors and 2,200 interns from 18 government medical colleges, who went on a token strike on Friday to press their demand for greater security at hospitals, health policy for doctors and a reduction in the medical few hike.
The much-delayed government response came on Friday after legislators voiced their concern against the lax security conditions inside hospital premises and reminded the House of how a woman patient was manhandled by staff members inside the JJ Hospital in December last year due to poor safety measures.
MLC Ramesh Shendge raised the issue in the legislative council and asked the state government if the hospital authorities had taken ample measures to improve security inside its premises after that unfortunate incident. Legislators also wanted to know what action had been initiated against the accused.
“The incident is extremely unfortunate and it took place in the ambulance office. We have a state department security stationed at the hospital. But we do not have enough staff to take care of safety outside every department in the hospital. To bridge this gap, we have now decided to outsource security staff,” said Dr Vijaykumar Gavit, state medical education minister.
Gavit added that after the incident, the state set up a five-member committee to investigate the matter.
The committee recommended suspension of two permanent staffers and transfer of the third accused, who was a contractual employee of JJ Hospital.
The victim also lodged a case and the police investigation in this case is still on.
MLC Prakash Binsale suggested that outsourcing security might not solve the problem and suggested that the government could consider installing CCTV cameras in the hospital. “CCTV cameras would act as a deterrent,” Binsale said.