Indian Law Regarding Safety of Female Patients and Attendants in Hospitals

b. Except in rooms (where attendants are allowed 24 hours) female patients should not be kept alone in a room. If it is unavoidable, an attendant should be allowed with her at all the times.

If she does not have an attendant, she should be encouraged to be in the ward with other patients or adequate arrangement should be made to ensure her safety.

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c. Male staff should not enter a room that is occupied by a female patient unless accompanied by a nurse/other female staff. It is a desirable practice to seek permission by knocking at the door before entering the room.

d. Female wards should have only female housekeeping staff for servicing the beds of female patients.

e. Procedures such as medical examination, USG, Echocardiography, X-ray, CT scan, Physiotherapy, ECG, EEG should not be carried out (unless in an emergency) without the presence of a female staff or patient’s attendant.

f. Sister in-charge ward should ensure that a female staff or patient’s attendant is sent along with a female patient for investigations or procedures.

In an emergency situation where neither the female staff nor the attendant is present, another female patient may be requested to be present during the procedure.

Needless to say that the patients permission be obtained before starting the procedure. In any case, the room should not be locked from inside.

g. No male attendants should be allowed to stay in the female ward beyond the visiting hours. Security guards should check the wards and ensure compliance.

h. Female patients/attendants should avoid visiting dark/secluded areas of the hospital at night.

i. Staff (nurses/housekeeping/security) should remain vigilant to prevent any unauthorized persons from entering the rooms occupied by female patients.

j. The female patients/their attendants should be briefed and advised to report any untoward incident at the earliest, without any fear so that prompt action can be taken.

k. A system of prompt redressal of grievances by a sensitive grievance committee.