Kochi: Bouncers are security guards employed at venues such as bars, restaurants, movie theatres or celebrity events. Imagine going to a hospital and seeing heavily-built bouncers in black T-shirts, matching pants and shining black shoes on duty keeping an eye on everyone who walks in. Well, it has become true.
Based on the report published by a leading newspaper, a hospital in Kochi has hired bouncers for security due to the increasing attacks on medical service personnel and hospital assets in different parts of the state. Ernakulam Medical Centre, a private hospital in Kochi has added four bouncers to its group of security staff. According to a hospital official, they were forced to hire bouncers following instances of violence and these men are employed to provide security to the hospital.
Recently, Dr Vandana Das, a house surgeon was stabbed to death by Sandeep, a patient during treatment at Kottarakara Taluk hospital. The incident had erupted protests from the doctors and healthcare staff in the state demanding steps to curb such attacks and ensure strict punishment to attacks against healthcare professionals. As a result, the state government amended the Hospital Protection Act.
According to this amendment, any offender who commits serious physical violence against a healthcare worker will be punishable with imprisonment not less than a year, up to a maximum of seven years and a minimum fine not less than Rs 1 lakh up to a maximum of Rs 5 lakh.
With the daylight murder of Dr Vandana and other reported attacks, hospitals are becoming dangerous places to work in. This has prompted the private hospital to take such a move. The hospital officials also informed that they have trained staff to handle unforeseen circumstances. If such an incident happens, a warning sign would be issued and the staff have to quickly assemble at safety points assigned.
“The bouncers are instructed not to get involved in law and order issues but to help hospital staff control the situation”, says TA Rajappan Nair the MD of private security agency that recruited them. He hopes that the presence of bouncers would prevent such attacks and added that one more hospital in Kochi have sought their service.
Jerry Philip, CEO of KIMSHEALTH Thiruvanathapuram said that they have hired bouncers in their security team for a long time. “Bouncers are more for the visual impact”, he says.
Hussain Koya Thangal, president of the Kerala Private Hospitals Association said that they are considering about forming a centralized security system for the private hospitals in the state.