Bengaluru-based Prakriya Hospitals has hired bouncers and beefed up security to ensure protection for its staff. The hospital has done so to deter increasing physical assaults on its doctors, staff, and management by COVID-19 patients' families and friends who create ruckus over mounting bills or limited bed availability among other reasons.
Prakriya is among several hospitals in Bengaluru that have scaled up security and hired bouncers to safeguard their employees as well as infrastructure. The hospital is one of many that have witnessed anger over mounting (hospital) bills and no or limited availability of beds leading to assaults.
"In such conditions, our staff are helpless and will have to face the people who accompany the COVID-19 patients. Despite many appeals, the police were not able to provide us security, understandably as they cannot expend their men at the service of the hospitals," said Dr Srinivas Chirukuri, chief executive officer of Prakriya Hospitals told the Mint.
He further stated that patients' relatives and friends become violent when hospital staff informs them that no beds are available for coronavirus patients.
Srinivas added that some COVID-19 patients are brought to the hospital in a critical condition and usually do not survive despite efforts by doctors to save them, in which case, patients' families don't understand any medical explanation given to them and go awry.
However, the hiring of bouncers is only a stopgap arrangement, he enunciates, adding that they come at a high cost, "Rs 3 lakh for six bouncers working in two shifts per month."
Other hospitals in Mysuru, Mangaluru and Chikkamagluru also faced similar situations. To tackle the issue, the state government had formed a committee with IPS (Indian Police Service) and IAS (Indian Administrative Service) officers to probe complaints of overcharging by hospitals.