The incident on 24 January when a CRPF man allegedly molested a minor girl in public and in broad daylight has triggered concerns over the security of patients and their relatives at the North Bengal Medical College and Hospital (NBMCH) here. NBMCH authorities, however, said that steps are being taken to revamp the security system.
Hundreds of patients from remote places of north Bengal visit the Out Patient Department (OPD) everyday, apart from the admissions for serious illnesses. Though the premier health institute recently marked 50 years in service, the security system has not been up to the mark, as reflected in recent incidents like yesterday’s.
Relatives of patients feel that the security of the patients should be ensured and the system here should be revamped. The CRPF man, Kalyan Prakashel, posted at the Group Centre of the CRPF near the NBMCH was held by the police for allegedly molesting a minor at the hospital on 24 January.
The incident created quite a stir at the hospital, while there have been instances of patients going missing from the wards. The hospital authorities say it is not easy to monitor the patients, especially those who leave the wards on their own.
The chairman of the Patient Welfare Committee of the NBMCH, Dr Rudranath Bhattacharya, said they were planning to strengthen and upgrade the security system at hospital. There are around 50 CCTV cameras in the campus, while 80 security guards are posted there presently.
“Cameras have been installed at various places, including the OPD and emergency ward. More than 150 cameras would be installed as we have got approval for the same from the health department. We feel that awareness should be more important to prevent crime like the one that occurred yesterday,” said NBMCH superintendent Dr Maitrayee Kar.
Asked whether the existing security strength was adequate, Dr Kar said they had already sent proposals to the health department to increase the number of the guards a long time back. “However, we have not received any response on this issue so far,” she added.