Former army men would replace private security personnel at two government hospitals that witnessed a series of attacks on doctors.
The private security guards were allegedly the first to run for cover first during vandalism at the two hospitals — Nalanda Medical College and Hospital (NMCH) and Guru Govind Singh Hospital.
Officials in the state health department said the decision to hire former defence personnel for hospital security — on the lines of Patna Medical College and Hospital (PMCH) — was taken at a recent meeting. While NMCH would have 200 security persons to guard its campus, Guru Govind Singh Hospital in Patna City — attached to the upcoming medical college at Jai Prakash Narayan All India Institute of Medical Sciences till its hospital gets operative next year — would have 100 such people.
Additional health secretary Rajendra Prasad Ojha said: “At present, private security guards or homeguard jawans man the hospitals but we are not happy with their performance. They are poorly trained and hardly equipped to deal with crisis. On several occasions they were the first to flee during trouble leaving doctors, nurses and others at the mercy of troublemakers.”
The PMCH was the first health hub in the state to float tenders inviting agencies with former defence personnel to provide security for the campus. The assignment is yet to be awarded to any agency.
“We floated the tender on May 21 to hire 200 ex-army men and hope to have the new arrangement soon,” said PMCH principal N.P. Yadav.
On Saturday night, relatives of a patient who had died at the emergency ward of PMCH thrashed a security guard after the attending doctor managed to dodge the mob.
The PMCH Junior Doctors’ Association immediately iterated its demand for stepping up security at the hospital. “Over a year has passed since the government has been saying that ex-servicemen will man the campus. But we hardly see any seriousness in that,” said Rakesh Kumar, the president of the association.