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State lists slew of measures taken to boost security at hospitals, CM harps on need for compassion

State lists slew of measures taken to boost security at hospitals, CM harps on need for compassion

Kolkata: The state government on Friday announced a slew of measures undertaken for revamping security measures in state hospitals, with Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee stressing on love and compassion on the part of the doctors while dealing with patients.

"It is not always right to take penal measures, which are very much in the ambit of law. The relation between the doctors and the patients should be based on love and compassion rather than a purely profession relation. People come from far with a hope to get good treatment and a compassionate attitude can solve a lot of problems. We need to behave politely and nothing can win over hearts more than love," said Banerjee, who is also the Health minister, in reply to a question raised by leader of the Opposition Abdul Mannan in the state Assembly, about the government initiative to ensure safety for the doctors.

Mannan raised the issue of a junior doctor who was allegedly beaten up at NRS Hospital, following which the junior doctors had gone on a week-long ceasework. He lauded the initiative of Banerjee, who held a meeting with the agitating doctors and solved the stalemate.

Banerjee referred to several BJP ruled states like Gujarat and Rajasthan, where the government had imposed laws like ESMA (Essential Services Maintenance Act) and forced striking doctors to join work. She said that the state government is trying to make arrangements for counselling of both the doctors and patients.

She said that the government is ready to take similar initiatives for private hospitals, if they approach her department for assistance in this regard. "Private hospitals have their own security mechanism. Our Additional Chief Secretary Health Rajiva Sinha had already spoken with private hospital authorities," she added.

Minister of state for Health Chandrima Bhattacharya said that the West Bengal Clinical Establishment Regulatory Commission, which was formed in 2017 to address the grievances in the health sector, has disposed of 150 out of 402 cases that have been lodged with it till November 2018.

Bhattacharya said that the state government has taken a 17-pronged security measure to curb any kind of untoward incidents in medical colleges and hospitals.

"A Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) is being made where entry and exit protocols will be formulated, which will indicate the number of the people to be allowed with the patients' families. Specific colour cards will be issued for entry in the wards," she said.

According to the security measures undertaken, there will be one nodal officer for each medical college, apart from CCTV monitoring and a 24x7 public grievance cell.

"One officer of the rank of DC will be responsible for formulating the security arrangements in the city and it will be supervised by an Assistant Commissioner rank officer. The hospital authorities have also been asked to depute professional agencies for providing security in the hospitals," Bhattacharya said.

She stressed upon the need for sensitising the doctors and other support staff and guidelines on how to go about lodging FIRs in case of assault on doctors or patient party grievance against doctors, if any. "The security arrangements will be monitored every fortnight," the minister added.

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