Gujarat Exclusive > Gujarat Exclusive > #Column: Is it time for Gujarat hospitals to get CCTVs in COVID-19 wards?

#Column: Is it time for Gujarat hospitals to get CCTVs in COVID-19 wards?

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There is a buzz in Gujarat that after Delhi, the state may also be ordered to install CCTVs in their dedicated facilities for COVID-19 patients. Union Home Minister Amit Shah after a visit and review of the situation at LNJP Hospital in Delhi – a dedicated COVID-19 facility – on Monday, ordered that all the COVID-19 hospitals should have CCTV cameras so that proper monitoring of patients can take place.

There were serious complaints about mistreatment of COVID-19 patients in Delhi hospitals. Dead bodies being left unattended and other such videos went viral causing big embarrassment for the state and irking the Supreme Court.

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Similar allegations were made about the Civil Hospital in Ahmedabad and also SVP Hospital- both dedicated COVID-19 facilities. Many cases of patients not being attended to and complaints of poor hygiene practices had surfaced at these facilities.

A case had emerged where a COVID-19 patient was allegedly discharged from a COVID-19 facility and later his body was found at a BRTS station in Danilimda. Several cases of poor handling of COVID-19 patients were reported from Civil Hospital – the biggest COVID-19 facility in Gujarat – and as a result corporators and MLAs who tested positive preferred private hospitals over the government ones.

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Complaints about private hospitals fleecing patients also emerged forcing Gujarat High Court to intervene following which the Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation capped the maximum rent charged by such hospitals.

In such a situation, many experts feel, it would be wise to install CCTVs in Gujarat[s COVID-19 hospitals. Installing CCTVs in Delhi Hospitals is a welcome step and experts feel Gujarat should follow the advice of the Home Minister in this matter.

(The author is a senior journalist with over two decades of experience covering Gandhinagar, bureaucracy and politics in Gujarat.)