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Doctors on their guard in crime city

Closed-circuit televisions, mobile jammers & trained canines part of contingency plans.

Jamshedpur, Jan. 15: Self-help is the best help. Doctors, who have been at the receiving end of heightened criminal activity in the steel city, are swearing by this adage.

While most have stopped entertaining direct calls from patient parties, many are mulling closed-circuit television cameras (CCTVs), mobile jammers and canine guards. Some have already applied for arms licences.

"We are doing these for obvious reasons. Doctors have become soft targets. We have to be on our guard," said A.K. Lal, a general surgeon, who now keeps the grille gate at the entrance of his clinic in Hata half-closed. He also plans a collapsible shutter soon.

"I am extra cautious while driving some 18km to reach my 18-bed clinic at Hata. I have decided not to travel alone. I have applied for a pistol licence and will install CCTVs at my chamber," he said.

A.C. Akhauri, president of the city unit of Indian Medical Association (IMA), has adopted "contingency measures" too. Employees at his Adityapur-based clinic have started collecting details of every visiting patient. A register with name, address, kind of complication and other related details of a patient is being maintained. "Prevention is always better than cure. A CCTV will be in my chamber shortly," Akhauri said.

A doctor of Tata Motors Hospital, A.K. Jadon, said he had enhanced security at his residence. "I have instructed my family not to open the door to strangers. I have applied for a gun licence, too," he added.

The sudden safety spree has, understandably, left patients worried. "I am a regular at a clinic in Sakchi. But I was subjected to a lot of queries the other day," rued Gopal Maity of Baridih.

Like Maity, several others had complaints. "It is not our fault if the law and order situation in the city is deteriorating. We are patients and need timely attention," one said.

But wary doctors couldn't care less. A senior practitioner in Sakchi said he was planning to install jammers in his mobile. "The jammer will prevent unwanted calls. I have a trained dog for my security," he said requesting anonymity.source

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