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Kerala Kaumudi Online
Tuesday, 16 April 2024 6.41 PM IST

Violence on hospital premises; multiple incidents even after murder of Vandana Das

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Vandana Das, who was a house surgeon, was stabbed to death at the Kottarakkara Taluk Hospital by a suspect in police custody. This was an incident which shocked the conscience of Kerala. Within a week of the incident, the government issued a new ordinance tightening the law to prevent violence against health workers in hospitals. According to this ordinance, those who commit serious violence in the hospital can be jailed for one year to seven years. The fine has also been increased from one lakh rupees to five lakh. According to the ordinance, those who dare to commit violence can be jailed for six months to five years.

The inquiry should be conducted by an officer, not below the rank of Inspector. The investigation should be completed within 60 days of filing the FIR. A special court will be appointed in every district to try the case. Despite this tightening of the law, incidents of violence were reported again. The incident where a husband punched the female neurosurgeon who informed him about the death of his wife took place at Thiruvananthapuram Medical College. A masked gang had attacked the doctor on duty in Parassala. A doctor was slapped across the face by a policeman in Mavelikara for confirming the death of his mother. A woman disguised as a nurse attempted murder by injecting air bubbles into a patient at a private hospital in Thiruvalla.

Last day a tragic incident took place in Muvattupuzha General Hospital where a woman was stabbed to death in front of her daughter. A woman named Simna Shakir was killed. Simna was bringing food for her father, who was undergoing treatment at the general hospital, along with her daughter. The suspect escaped from the scene and later surrendered to the police. Although it was personal reasons that led to the incident, this incident also points to the inadequate security systems in the Taluk hospitals. After the murder of Vandana Das, the government had announced that a policeman would be posted on permanent duty in all government taluk hospitals and primary health centres, but it has not been implemented yet. It was said that more people would be appointed for this purpose from the rank list of civil police officers, but due to the financial crisis, that too did not happen. No crime can be prevented by strict laws alone. There is a need for an overhaul in the security systems of the hospitals along with this. The possibility of violence will be greatly reduced if there is a constant presence of the police. The health department should install cameras, security alarm systems etc. in all hospitals.

Under no circumstances should hospital premises be allowed to become a breeding ground for criminals.

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