How Lagos hospital staff, patients suffer from assault, theft

A Lagos hospital, whose staff have suffered harassment and theft from unidentified persons, has started putting security measures in place.

Staff and patients at Randle General Hospital on Randle Avenue, Surulere, Lagos, have suffered cases of theft of property and physical assault, the News Agency of Nigeria reports.

A correspondent of the Agency who visited the hospital reported that the Emergency Unit was more vulnerable to such incidents as patients, relations and others could easily walk into the premises, without being questioned.

NAN also reports that the entrance to the hospital’s Emergency Unit had no security personnel, hence anybody could freely walk in.

A member of staff said cases of theft and attacks on members of staff, including doctors and nurses on duty, had been ongoing at the unit for some weeks.

The staff, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said that only patients with critical emergencies were usually allowed to go into the emergency room.

“We expect relations and patients with emergencies to come in and such people will be attended to.

“Many people come into the room and we assume that they either come in as patients that need emergency care or relations accompanying them.

“But some outsiders do find their way in and steal; a patient’s bag was once stolen when she and her relation went to the bathroom.

“Also, the mobile phones of some patients and members of staff have been stolen; there have also been instances of doctors and nurses being beaten up by people who have lost their loved ones,” the staff recalled.

NAN, however, reports that the hospital management had started to put in place measures, including the deployment of security agents and the installation of CCTV cameras.

Police personnel are now being deployed at night to parade the hospital compound.

An official, who also spoke on anonymity for the hospital management, said that the management would soon introduce new measures to ensure that the emergency room was better secured.

“Only those with emergencies would now be allowed to go in,” the official said.

A patient, Esiri Umukoro, who spoke to NAN, said that the hospital environment should be a safe place to receive treatment.

She said that the management had the responsibility to ensure that patients at the hospital were safe at all times.

“The hospital is open as can be seen from the entrance and anybody can walk in; there should be more security men placed at every entrance, to prevent theft.

“Anybody can come in the name of coming to receive treatment, but the hospital management should be more security conscious,” she added.

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