Jammu Hospitals evolve ‘Two persons per patient’ policy to avoid overcrowding Doctors call off strike after 10 % security increase

Balwant Singh Bhau

To stop recurrent attendant-doctor clashes, the management of Government Medical College and Hospital (GMC&H) and its allied hospitals has devised a new policy to reduce influx of attendants who accompany patients. The initiative will ultimately improve delivery of services.

Meanwhile, the doctors at GMC&H today called off strike after the hospital management conceded their demand of increase in security cover.

As per the new policy, only two attendants will be allowed with one patient on the hospital premises.

Medical Superintendent of GMC&H-Dr Romesh Gupta told Newspoint that the decision was taken after management planned to take steps to reduce overcrowding at the facility that was directly influencing and burdening available resources.

“If you visit the hospital, you will see people outside every ward – some sleeping, some talking, some eating and leaving behind trash,” said a senior health official, wishing anonymity. He added overcrowding had created hurdles in the delivery of health services.

He, however, said that the doctors today called off their strike after proper consensus was reached.

“The doctors at the hospital went on strike after attendants clashed with them. The attendants manhandled the doctors on duty. The doctors which are already overburdened have to face this brunt as well, which is affecting their efficiency,” said Dr Gupta, adding the matter was resolved unanimously under the supervision of concerned minister.

“The administration has promised to increase the security cover by 10 percent. Jammu and Kashmir police personnel will guard the hospital round the clock,” he said and added the administration has also initiated new policy of ‘two attendants per patient’.

Meanwhile, the official at the hospital said, “The resources at the hospital are already overburdened and repeated visits cause problems for the management – we spend a lot of money on cleaning wards and verandas where people create temporary makeshifts,” he said.

He added people throw leftover food in the open which attracts rats, this exacerbates the misery of health staffers as well as that of patients.

However, attendants expressed unhappiness over the new policy and termed it injustice with the attendants. “Where should we go? We came all the way from Rajouri to meet patient, but now the security is not allowing us to meet them,” said irate attendant Rajesh, adding at least they must follow some entry fees for more than one attendant.

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