MUMBAI: The state government has provided bouncers to protect doctors from attack by irate kin of patients at hospitals, Medical Education Minister Vinod Tawde told the Legislative Council today, an announcement termed "shocking" by the Opposition NCP.
Tawde was replying to a debate on a motion moved by Kiran Pawaskar of the NCP who raised the issue of beating up of doctors at government hospitals over allegations of improper medical care.
While speaking to reporters later, Pawaskar termed the minister's announcement as "shocking".
"The term bouncers is used in pubs, discos, and movie actors use them for self protection," he said, adding hospitals need to have trained security guards.
"There is a difference between trained security guards and government providing bouncers. The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) floats tenders and gives security at its civic hospitals. But these guards need to be given training," said Pawaskar.
Earlier, moving the motion, Pawaskar drew attention to rising incidents of attacks on doctors in KEM, Nair, and Sion hospitals and pointed out that against the requirement of 210 security guards only 115 have been recruited.
Raising a supplementary query, Pawaskar also said CCTV cameras do not work at many government hospitals. He sought to know what steps were being taken to repair them.
Tawde assured the House that the vacant posts will be filled and the CCTVs will be repaired.
Meanwhile, Council Chairman Ramraje Nimbalkar directed Tawde to assign the policemen government hospitals as beat to deal with such incidents.
Nimbalkar said even in his own native village relatives of patients had beaten up doctors in the past.