Mumbai : Following regular complaints of harassment of people at the post mortem centres in the city, the administration has decided to install CCTV cameras at these units.
Sources said that there have been regular complaints that people are getting harassed when they go to claim the body of their relatives. “There are demands of money from some of the staff at these centres and there is sometimes deliberate delay in handing over the bodies,” a senior doctor said.
Since most people do not understand the working of the post mortem centres, they end up coughing up money to get their work expedited, sources say.
Since most people do not understand the working of the post mortem centres, they end up coughing up money to get their work expedited, sources said. “In some instances there are demands of up to Rs 8,000-10,000 per body and relatives feel that they will have to give this money,” another official said.
However, another doctor said that in some cases it is not the staff at these centres but the private ambulance operators who make these demands. It becomes difficult to make out who is the person making these demands and hence it was decided to set up these CCTV cameras.
According to Dr SM Patil, police surgeon and who is in charge of all the post mortem centres, they are presently starting with the post mortem centres located at JJ Hospital and at Cooper Hospital. “The cameras will be installed in a way that they will cover the counter when the relatives talk with the staff and get the death certificates. Even the passage area where the body is handed over will be covered so it will be possible to monitor the goings on,” he said.
In the next phase, these cameras will be installed at the other centres located at Bhagwati Hospital, Siddharth Hospital and Rajwadi Hospital, he revealed. The idea is to have a system where people do not have to wait for getting the body after an autopsy examination and there is no demand for money or any other favours,” he said.
Sources said that there have been several episodes of doctors and other staff being caught red handed while demanding money from relatives. While two episodes took place at Cooper PM Centre, one took place at Bhagwati PM Centre. “The reason is that people are helpless when they have to wait at these centres for getting the body of their deceased relative, and are willing to do anything,” one staffer revealed.
Dr Patil said that he is aware of the difficulties faced by the relatives and he is making all efforts to make this easier for them. “We have also set up complaint boxes at these places and have put up black boards, that give names of doctors and other staffers on duty,” he said. If people still face any difficulties, then they can approach the doctor in charge of the centre or even the police surgeon with their problems.