Delhi’s state-run hospitals may be crying for basic infrastructure needs like surgical equipment and medicines, but the government has put out an expression of interest (EOI) to install smart CCTVs in them first, which sources say will cost crores. The cameras will also be installed at dispensaries.
The state health department says this will enhance security and safety. “Video surveillance will help prevent theft and hoarding of things like wheelchairs, medical equipment, televisions and furniture. It will also help avoid hospital-acquired infections and wrong-site surgeries,” said an official.
The cameras will be used to count the number of people who enter and exit, recognize the face of employees for attendance and supervision and detect when anyone crosses the threshold of a room, the government claims. It is also planned to outsource monitoring and maintenance of the cameras to a private company. There will be a central storage of all videos since the government feels storing locally may make them vulnerable to tampering.
“Installing CCTVs at the entry and exit is fine, but using them everywhere is ridiculous. It will incur unnecessary expenditure and invade the privacy of patients. How can the government check wrong-site surgeries by installing CCTVs inside the operation theatre? It is illegal and not done anywhere across the world,” said a doctor.