While putting a blanket ban on media within the hospital compounds, Principal, Government Medical College and Associated Hospitals, Tuesday issued a circular directing all the Medical Superintendents (MS) not to allow any journalist to enter into wards and other sections of the hospital without a proper permission.
“It has come to the notice of undersigned that press reporters of various news agencies are frequently visiting hospitals and unwarrantedly entering into wards /sections and other critical areas without seeking proper permission from the competent authority that too during clinical rounds and conducting of investigative procedures which has created lot of inconvenience to the consulting physicians while performing their professional duties, besides patients too feel harassed,” the circular reads, adding that the undue interference of media personnel is detrimental to the outcome of patient care.
While talking to ‘Kashmir Vision’, Principal, Government Medical College and Associated Hospitals, Prof Samia Rashid said that it came to our notice that some of journalists enter into wards and theatres causing inconvenience to the patients and physicians as well, “what sort of journalism is this that you start asking different questions to the patients while they have been just brought to the hospital,” she said.
“In the interest of patient care and smooth functioning of institution, it is impressed upon all the Medical Superintendents of Associated Hospitals that they should not allow any journalist to enter the wards or operation theatres especially at the time of ward rounds or management of mass casualties,” the circular reads further.
Pertinently, there is already an order in place issued during the tenure of Chowdhary Lal Singh as the Health Minister, which bars medicos to talk to the press on any issue. However, Tuesday’s circular has once again strengthened the ban.
When this reporter asked Principal, GMC that what if there is an issue that needs the official comment, what needs to be do at the time, “any journalist who wants to report any issue can get in touch with the concerned MS, and he can be provided with the appropriate information,” she said, impressing that in no case, media persons will be allowed to unnecessarily roam inside wards and other sensitive sections.
“If MS provides the permission, the media person can even visit the patients in wards,” she added.
The circular issued, further says that any press briefings that are desirable for mass awareness of the public will be conveyed by the concerned Medical Superintendents at appropriate time.