Kerala Kaumudi Online
Monday, 22 July 2024 8.54 PM IST

Security guards should not behave like goons


Ours is a government that has enacted a strong law against assaulting health workers. It was the death of Dr Vandana Das, a house surgeon of the Kottarakkara Taluk Hospital who was stabbed to death by an accused arrested by the police, that prompted the government to implement a law containing new guidelines and more punishment to prevent such violence. We often hear news about conflicts related to hospitals. Several hospitals in the state have witnessed conflicts in connection with alleged medical negligence and delays in providing treatment. Such problems cannot be resolved by attacking health workers. No one can deny that people get the best treatment in limited facilities from government hospitals. It is also necessary to provide training for health workers on how to deal with people.

Just as health workers should not be assaulted by patients and their companions, it is equally important that people visiting the hospital must not be assaulted by the security personnel of the hospital. Many complaints have been raised in the past that some people, who get contracts as security through political influence, were turning the hospital premises into a venue for many other transactions and treating people very rudely. However, the concerned authorities are not taking any action to prevent this. As a result, such incidents keep repeating. Recently, a patient and a senior officer of the Medical College were assaulted by the security personnel at Thiruvananthapuram Medical College Hospital. The Health Minister has directed the Medical College Principal to conduct an inquiry regarding these incidents and take necessary action.

A video of a man, who came to seek treatment at the Medical College, being physically assaulted by security personnel had circulated on social media. According to the report given by the security officer who investigated the matter, the person who was beaten up is a suspect in criminal cases. No law book says that security guards can beat up an accused in a criminal case. The security personnel should subdue the people who resort to violence at the hospital premises and hand them over to the police. However, this often does not happen on Medical College premises. Complaints regarding most of the clashes and beatings going on there do not even reach the police station. It is said that many of these issues are settled by high-ranking officials and politicians.

Following the ban on visitors to the hospital during the Covid period, the employees of a private institution were appointed as security officers in the Medical College. Many people with political influence had also obtained contractual appointments here as security personnel. It is alleged that some of these security personnel behave violently towards patients and their companions even for trivial matters. If the complaints received about the rude behaviour of security guards are found to be true, they should be immediately fired. Government hospitals are no place for anyone to show hooliganism. There has also been an incident in the past where the security personnel of the Medical College beat up a youth who came to receive his father's dead body. Although an investigation was conducted regarding this incident, no action was taken against anyone. Such laxity on the part of the authorities leads to the repetition of such inhuman acts by the security guards.

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