Psychiatric Diseases Hospital sets up probe panel on patient care

The Government Psychiatric Diseases Hospital at Rainawari here on Wednesday constituted a committee to inquire into a video in which a woman is heard accusing the hospital staff of mistreating the inmates.
Psychiatric Diseases Hospital sets up probe panel on patient care
File Photo

The Government Psychiatric Diseases Hospital at Rainawari here on Wednesday constituted a committee to inquire into a video in which a woman is heard accusing the hospital staff of mistreating the inmates.

The four-member committee headed by the deputy medical superintendent of the hospital has been directed to submit its report within three days.

In the video, the veiled woman is heard saying that the lower rung employees beat up the inmates.

"These patients have no sense of the world outside. Please have a serious look into the matter," the woman says.

The woman accuses the staff of gunda raj (rule of thugs).

"For God's sake, look into these atrocities committed on these patients. Their families think they (patients) get good treatment there but they are being mistreated by these lower rung employees," she says.

Medical superintendent Dr Maqbool Ahmed Dar, who ordered the investigation, rejected the woman's accusations, saying he and some independent agencies regularly inspected the hospital but were not aware of any incident in which a patient has been mistreated.

"If anyone is found indulging in such an act we will bring him or her to book," he said.

Shazia Maqbool, legal aid officer of the Free Legal Aid Clinic at the hospital, said three staff members of the clinic also regularly visit the wards.

"There seems to be some confusion as to what has been perceived as mistreatment," she said.

The Free Legal Aid Clinic has been set up by the District Legal Services Authority at the hospital to address complaints and other issues of the patients.

At least 66 patients—55 males and 11 females— are undergoing treatment at the hospital at present. These patients are usually kept in general ward but in case a patient requires isolation he/she is put inside an isolation ward.

A senior doctor at the hospital said on the condition of anonymity that the woman in the video seems "genuinely distressed" by something she has seen at the hospital.

"But she has perceived it wrongly," he said, adding that there are laid down procedures, like pinning a patient down and calming him with medicines if he goes out of control.

"This is for the safety of the patient and others," he said.

Taking note of the video, principal Government Medical College Srinagar Dr Samia Rashid also visited the hospital and took stock of the arrangements for patient safety and privacy.

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