The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Entry curb on ward visitors

Fewer babies in cots, fewer visitors on campus. Putting this formula into practice, Calcutta Medical College and Hospital on Sunday shut the gates on vistors without valid entry passes.

Director of health services (DHS) Prabhakar Chatterjee said entry of visitors would be regulated at all government hospitals from now on. “We have already issued proper photo-identity cards to doctors, nurses, security staff, sweepers and other employees. We will not allow people to overcrowd our hospitals,” he added.

Medical College superintendent K.K. Adhikari said the steps had been taken in the interest of the patients and to allow doctors to function without public pressure. “Patients’ families often pose problems to doctors. Also, regulation of entry of visitors will prevent cross-infection and help doctors on call to attend their patients better,” he added.

The decision to restrict visitor entry into hospital wards was taken at a meeting attended by the superintendent, principal, junior doctors and the officer-in-charge of Bowbazar police station. It comes in the wake of Friday night’s assault by the relatives of a patient on some junior doctors. But the sudden closed-door policy sparked trouble on Sunday evening, with visitors demanding entry and even engaging in a scuffle with hospital staff and a few policemen.

Sunday also saw DHS Chatterjee go on a surprise inspection of Salt Lake State General Hospital and M.R. Bangur Hospital. He said the operation theatre was closed at the Salt Lake hospital for repairs. “I checked the records and spoke to patients at both the hospitals,” he added.

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