Indira Gandi Memorial Hospital (IGMH) in capital city Malé has announced that management of the state hospital’s security will be handled by the Special Constabulary or Reserve Force of the police from February 1.
IGMH’s Deputy CEO Mohamed Habeeb stated that the “access points” and all premises of IGMH will then be under the security of the police’s reserve force, adding that he believed this would bring “massive improvement” compared to the level of security currently seen at the hospital.
He stated that formalities regarding the matter have been completed except for the signing of a memorandum of understanding between the two institutions.
“It has already been agreed that we will begin implementation of this initiative by February 1. Police are now drafting the MoU which we will sign as soon as they send it to us,” Habeeb stated.
Stating that at present, the hospital has its own employees serving as security guards, Habeeb revealed that this caused a number of problems, including the “lack of suitable candidates who apply, and the irresponsible nature of those already employed”.
He revealed that the hospital’s management had tried to solve the matter by outsourcing to a private security firm, which had also proved unfruitful due to the lack of discipline of the guards.
“Everyone agrees that IGMH is in dire need of stronger security. We had some thieves walk out with our fundbox, we had keys stolen, we have had our doctors threatened…we absolutely are in need of taking stronger security measures,” Habeeb explained.
The police reserve force will be paid for their services by IGMH, Habeeb said, adding “mark that this is the special constabulary we are hiring. Not people from the real police force”.
“Even though we will need to pay them too, it is a far more feasible and effective measure than hiring our own guards or a private security firm. Police are well-disciplined and trained to deal with such situations, so we approached the police requesting for security assistance,” he continued.
“Police seniors then suggested we take the option of hiring the reserve force, which is what we have now agreed to do. We did request that they be especially trained to route patients and visitors to facilitate them to better obtain our services, and to prepare them for working in a hospital environment.”
“Now that we are hiring this force, we will not need to make special provisions for leaves and sick days and other such bureaucratic matters. All of that will be managed by police when it comes to security personnel,” Habeeb stated.
The police media official stated that while the Special Constabulary is managed by the police, it does not consist of “real police officers”.
The official – who requested to remain unnamed – stated that the Special Constabulary had a number of officers who have received basic police training but do not have the authorisation that comes with being an officer.
“For example, they will not have the jurisdiction to use weapons unless they are assigned to a particular task. They are a reserve force and do not have to report to duty daily. They only get paid when they are deployed on some project – oftentimes when other institutions or resorts request for police security assistance,” he explained.
He further added that the special constabulary force will be difficult to identify on sight as they wear the same uniform as regular officers, with a small identifier showing the difference in rank.