Patients at government hospitals in Lahore at the mercy of unqualified, untrained guards | Pakistan Today

Patients at government hospitals in Lahore at the mercy of unqualified, untrained guards

LAHORE: Security guards at major hospitals of Lahore including Lahore General Hospital, Ganga Ram Hospital, Services Hospital, Gulab Devi and Mayo Hospital are untrained and unqualified for the job, Pakistan Today has reliably learnt.

One such example is of Lahore General Hospital (LGH), where the security guards are in fact, a security risk. There are more than 50 private security guards at the hospital who are ordinary men in the garb of security guards.

Although it is mandatory for all guards to be proficient in weapon usage by undertaking the relevant training according to the rules set by the Home Department for guard training, none of the guards possesses a certification by the Punjab Private Security Companies Regulation and Control Ordinance 2003. It is absolutely compulsory that a civil guard takes two weeks of training from an institute approved by Government of Punjab. While retired guards from the Army should have a week of training.

This situation puts patients and hospital staff at a high risk during a potential threat, during which a guard employed at the hospital may be using the weapon for the first time.

Furthermore, it is compulsory for the guards to carry a licensed weapon which must be certified with a necessary fitness certificate but this too is not obtained by any of these guards responsible for the people’s precious lives.

It is pertinent to mention here that the people seem to suffer at the hands of security company responsible for providing guards to Lahore General Hospital, COSMO security.

According to one guard, the salary is up to 15,000 but they were being paid 12,000. On top of this, the security company, COSMO has shifted all control to the hospital’s administration from whom they pocket 20,400 in exchange of their services. The outstanding amount which is 8,400, is swallowed by the hospital’s administration.

Patients visiting these hospitals are only as safe as their self-defence skills. In April 2018, a man was attacked and injured at Lahore General Hospital, while multiple cases of security guards indulging in petty brawls and physical assault at Sir Ganga Ram are reported with regular frequency.

General Hospital MS Admin, Dr Jaffar Syed Shad said, “Any problems in the company will be identified. Ads have been placed in newspapers for new contracts. The security company which meets the role of the home department will receive the contract.”

“Our company’s contract is just for another month. I’m trying to fix all these issues,” said Cosmo security company owner, Zaman Tahir.

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