English | Dzongkha Saturday, June 23, 2018

Tighten National Referral Hospital’s security, patients say

Damcho Zam, Thimphu
Feb 2, 2016

Thimphu police have apprehended a 21 year-old man, who was caught on CCTV, allegedly running away after robbing two patients at the National Referral Hospital’s ward. He was detained yesterday. The crime had taken place on January 24.

The suspect has confessed to the crime, according to the police. The police said he had robbed a mobile phone and some cash.

There were five similar cases, last year and such incidences have instilled fear among the patients.

A patient at the JDWNR Hospital, Choki Dorji said he no longer feels safe in a place that is supposed to be secure. He blames the hospital’s security of failing to do their job.

“Some of the security guards are not as vigilant as they ought to be,” he said. He added the hospital need to monitor how the security is being manned.

Another patient, Dorji Gyeltshen said people from the rural areas, who are admitted at the hospital, are more vulnerable to such crime. “We wouldn’t know who to be careful with.”

JDWNR Hospital’s Superintendent, Dr. Gosar Pemba said they have outsourced the security to Jachung Security Services (JSS). “It is their mandate to look after the security.” The hospital has 32 security guards.

JCC did not want to comment.

Only the exits and entrances of the hospital have CCTV. The wards do not have security cameras to protect the privacy of the patients.

Dr. Gosar Pemba also said the hospital is always crowded making monitoring difficult.  “We have tried to reduce the number of those attending to the patients but that hasn’t worked.” He said a patient always has more than two attendants.

The hospital plans to install more CCTV cameras. They are also planning to introduce electronic access control which would allow only the staff with access cards to enter the building. “We have also asked the security guards to be more vigilant.”


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