The state government has constituted a six-member committee to look into the security arrangements in 14 of its hospitals across Maharashtra after relatives of a dead patient allegedly attacked doctors at JJ Hospital last week.
“Till permanent security is hired, 20 in-house employees with good physique will be in-charge of security in all these hospitals,” said WB Tayade, director, Directorate of Medical Education and Research.
On the discretion of the deans, hospitals have been given a nod to procure close-circuit camera, walkie-talkies and other security equipments.
On January 8, relatives of Shahid Abdul Rehman (50)allegedly manhandled two senior resident doctors and a senior staff nurse of JJ Hospital after he died. Accusing the doctors of negligence, the relatives allegedly broke the glass windowpanes and damaged the furniture of ward number 12.
Following a series of such attacks on doctors, the state government in April 2009 had passed a special ordinance — the Maharashtra Medicare Service Persons and Medicare Service Institutions (Prevention of Violence and Damage or Loss to Property).
Offenders can face three years in jail and be liable to pay a fine of Rs 50,000 for assaulting doctors, nurses, paramedics and destruction of hospital property.
Realising that the public is not aware of the law, the Maharashtra Association of Resident Doctors is planning to put up display boards outside casualty and other sensitive wards about the information on the punishment.