Citing the death of a traffic constable after being assaulted by an erring bike rider, the Bombay High Court asked the Maharashtra government and BMC on Friday to hire private security guards to protect the doctors at public hospitals, if needed. “It is very sad that a traffic policeman on duty is assaulted by law breakers and he dies…Whether the victim is a policeman or a doctor, he or she is in public service round the clock, and hence security must be provided to them,” said a bench headed by Justice VM Kanade.
The High Court was hearing a PIL filed by Afak Mandaviya saying doctors in government hospitals often become the target of the wrath of disgruntled patients or their relatives. Constable Vilas Shinde (50) succumbed to injuries at a city hospital on Thursday after he was hit on the head with a wooden plank last week by a juvenile bike rider when asked for vehicle documents.
Doctors too are in public service and are vulnerable to attacks from patients or their relatives, said the bench. The court gave three weeks to the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) and the state government to frame a comprehensive action plan to provide adequate security to doctors at public hospitals.
Last month, the government had said that from September, it was going to deploy 56 security personnel (police and home guards) at the government-run hospitals in the city. But the court remarked on Friday that the present security in hospitals is not enough, and private security guards should be hired, if needed.