The state-run Sawai Man Singh (SMS) hospital in Jaipur which had appointed bouncers for security of doctors on Monday, removed them on Wednesday following an order by Rajasthan health minister Raghu Sharma, the hospital’s superintendent said.
The bouncers will be replaced by ex-armymen, medical superintendent Dr DS Meena said. He said 15 ex-armymen would be posted immediately and gradually all guards would be replaced by the ex-servicemen.
The health minister gave the direction to remove the bouncers after the attendant of a patient complained that he was roughed up by one of them.
The attendant alleged that he had gone to the SMS hospital’s emergency on Tuesday night and had an argument with a bouncer on duty there. The patient claimed that the bouncer pulled him by his hair and dragged him out.
Health minister Sharma asked Dr Meena to remove the bouncers with immediate effect.
SMS hospital had posted 16 bouncers at the emergency and trauma wards on Monday after a doctor was roughed up by relatives of a patient who died during treatment on Sunday.
“The hospital had recruited the 16 bouncers at a cost of Rs 2 lakh per month,” said Dr Meena.
The bouncers with a forbidding look were a contrast to the regular security guards. The bouncers were thorough in their job and checked passes and allowed only those attendants who had passes for entry into the building. In contrast, the regular security guards rarely stop anyone from entering the premises.
Posting bouncers at sensitive locations in the hospital was one of the demands of the Jaipur Association of Resident Doctors (JARD). The association president Ajeet Bagra said.
Dr Meena said they have asked the ex-armymen association for 400 personnel and will gradually remove the guards. He said the security agency had not provided competent guards but their contract could not be terminated immediately.
Dr Bagra said, “We just want good security measures, whether by bouncers or ex-armymen. Residents have been beaten up four times this month but the health minister did not make any statement. If the attendant of a patient was roughed up, he has ordered removal of security.”
He claimed the attendant had not been roughed up by the bouncer and that the incident was captured on CCTVs. “There was no misbehaviour nor was the attendant beaten up,” Dr Bagra insisted.
The resident doctors have gone on strike several times in the past after doctors were roughed up by relatives of patients. They have demanded tougher security measures and the administration has complied by posting security guards, installing CCTVs and sirens in the hospital.