While helping an old woman climb the stairs, a tall muscular man bearing striking resemblance to Vin Diesel greets you at the doorsteps. At first glance, the 6 ft 5” lad might pass off as a security guard but on closer inspection, the tattooed arms, Ray-Ban shades and tough expression on his face tell a different story.
Following an unruly incident in April, where friends of a patient beat up a doctor and damaged hospital property; a few hospitals in Delhi have started hiring bouncers to deal with aggrieved relatives. We find out if such a trend is picking up in Bangalore too.
“In an attempt to beef up security in their premises, hospitals all over the country have begun to appreciate this move. However, I feel such initiatives are not necessary in a city like Bangalore. The whole idea of hiring hospital bouncers seems unnecessary. As long as doctors keep everything transparent, there shouldn’t be a problem,” says Abdul Hafeez, Chief Marketing Officer, Vikram Hospital.
On February, 2006, a cold-blooded murder was reported in Hosmat Hospital. A gang of miscreants entered the hospital one morning and murdered a rival who had been admitted there. The case not only shocked the city but also provided a reality check with respect to security in health care institutions.
“That incident shocked the entire nation. I think hiring bouncers is an extremely good idea as they are adept at handling large crowds. Thousands of attacks occur in hospitals on a regular basis. It is about time we do something about security issues,” says Maggi who works as a bouncer in the city.
However, some feel that hospitals hiring bouncers may provide with an additional layer of security. Madhur Verma, Area General Manager, Columbia Asia Hospital believes that this initiative could help in curbing violent incidents in hospitals.
“This is an idea that we have been toying with for a while now. It is important that we take care of our medical staff and assure them of the highest levels of security at all times. Considering the environment we work in, sometime things do get heated up and we need to make sure that everything is under control,” says Verma.
On the other hand, some doctors opine that the move is absolutely unnecessary. Acting impulsively on learning about the death of a loved one, is a natural reaction, says Dr Shekhar, Chairman of Bangalore Hospital, who further adds, “One has to be quite understanding under such circumstances. In fact, one of our own employees broke glasses in the hospital when his father passed away. As a doctor, it is your responsibility to make your patient as well as their relatives as comfortable as possible. Doctors can’t afford to lose their cool with patients. Such instances of violent behaviour occurs only when the hospital management or doctor tends to evade his responsibility. Like any other hospital, we have also had our share of tense situations but nothing ever went out of control. I don’t think we need to hire bouncers for extra security in any medical institution.”
Echoing similar sentiments, Robin who works as a bouncer in the city, says that such moves may trigger similar response in other places too. “Tomorrow, if a fight breaks out in any religious institution, they too will demand for a bouncer. People don’t create unnecessary ruckus in hospitals. Of course, when it comes to clubs and pubs, it is whole a new ball game. With drunk people getting into fights all the time, sometimes it becomes difficult to handle a large crowd. I think as long as doctors do their jobs well, all untoward incidents can be avoided,” he says.
HISTORY OF ATTACKS ON DOCTORS
* Resident doctors of Lok Nayak Jai Prakash Hospital (LNJP) went on strike in April this year as the attendants of a 16-year-old patient beat them up while they were performing a resuscitation procedure on her.
Unaware of protocol, the attendants assumed that the girl was being molested rather than revived by the doctors
*In January, a man upset with his pregnant wife’s death during surgery, barged into a hospital in Chennai with a sword to hack to death the surgeon he claimed responsible for his wife’s death.
* Dissatisfied with the treatment provided to him, a man attacked his doctor leaving her badly injured. The incident took place at the private Jubilee Medical College Hospital when the house surgeon was returning from the canteen