Thefts go unchecked across Kashmir hospitals

Published at December 10, 2018 12:21 AM 0Comment(s)2916views

Despite CCTV surveillance, admin fails to stop thefts

Thefts go unchecked across Kashmir hospitals

Mansoor Peer


In a shocking development, hospitals across Kashmir hospitals have failed to stop rising theft incidents despite majority of healthcare institutes under CCTV surveillance.
The largest maternity hospital, Lal Ded, is the worst-hit place as thieves are making their way all around even in Wards and stole blankets and shoes making attendants suffer.
Mushtaq Ahmad, an attendant from Pattan said his cousin was waiting in the cue at OPD ticket counter two days ago and some unknown person stole rupees 500 from her pocket.
“I saw many patients complaining about thieves stealing money from attendants. These incidents have become normal in the hospital and hospitals administration is least bothered about it,” he said.
The theft incidents came to light on Thursday when thieves stole two blankets of an attendant of Bandipora with attendants alleging the incidents have become a routine.
The hospital administration is neither taking the complaints of attendants seriously nor is ready to check through CCTV footage citing security reasons.
Medical Superintendent (MS), LD, Dr Shabir Siddiqi said most of the cases are reported at the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) where attendants take off their shoes before entering in.
“They take each others’ shoes. We have kept a shoe rack there and despite that shoe are stolen,” he said.
Siddiqi, however, said they will go through the CCTV footage and will take strict action if any person is identified. “This is a public place and there is any possibility they can steal anything,” he said.
Sher-I-Kashmir Institute of Medical Sciences (SKIMS), Soura also sails in the same boat as theft cases continue leaving attendants worried, while it has failed to stop the incidents.
On Friday, a video of CCTV footage at the institute went viral on social media in which a thief wearing pheran is seen stealing a mobile phone from the pocket of a man. The incident has happened on 30 November.
Some incidents are not reported as every area at SKIMS is not fitted with CCTV camera.
On 13 November, a similar incident was reported at SKIMS, in which it came to light that an attendant had stolen shoe outside a theater.
MS, SKIMS Soura, Dr Farooq Jan said they are catching thieves with the help of surveillance cameras and those who were found involved in theft cases were handed over to police.
“In both the incidents (Nov 13 and 30) both the thieves were caught and were later handed over to police. In past also we caught many thieves,” he said adding that there are some areas which need to be covered under CCTV cameras.
The theft episodes at SKIMS Medical College & Hospital (MCH), Bemina have become a headache for doctors as thieves have been found stealing belongings from parked cars of doctors.
MS, SKIMS MCH, Dr Shifa said the theft cases happen in the hospital premises stating that they have never received any complaint about patients losing their belongings.
“We have episodes in which parcels, laptops and gold was stolen from cars of doctors. These incidents happen at public places. We can’t stop people from entering with patients. We can’t stop such cases in spite of having security in place,” she said.
However, at SMHS hospital the theft incidents are reported very rarely with officials saying that some CCTV cameras are not functioning.
“In the past few months, we have not received any theft case. Some CCTV cameras are not functioning which need to be repaired,” said an official at SMHS.


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