Indian hospital hires bouncers to deter attacks
NEW DELHI (AP) - Mr Pradeep Kumar, a muscular man in shades and tattoos, pulls up on a motorcycle, ready for his job as a bouncer. Not at a nightclub, but at another workplace where violence is common in India: a hospital.
He and his burly colleagues keep the emergency and labour rooms from filling up with patients' often agitated relatives and friends. The bouncers are polite, yet so tough-looking that people think twice about ignoring their orders. "These guys look like they walked right out of an action movie," said Mr Pawan Desai, who brought his 4-year-old daughter to Deen Dayal Upadhyay Hospital for treatment for a cut on her hand.
Working in an Indian hospital can be dangerous. In April, a week before DDU hired the bouncers, friends of an emergency-room patient punched a doctor in the face and broke his nose before going on a rampage with hockey sticks, swinging at windows, lights, furniture and medical staff.
The medical staff at DDU, a government hospital, had faced nearly one attack a month and had gone on strike 20 times over six years demanding better security. Since the hospital replaced its middle-aged, pot-bellied guards with bar bouncers, bodyguards, and wrestlers sporting muscles and tattoos, "there hasn't been a single incident," said Dr Nitin Seth, the doctor who was injured in April.