A total of 41,959 constabulary ranked officials of the Mumbai Police department will undergo medical screening at Nagpada police hospital from end-August. The move comes in the backdrop of the heightened vulnerability of these frontline police personnel in view of the Covid-19 outbreak — 53 police personnel, including 48 constables, have lost their lives due to the virus since the outbreak.
Due to long working hours, extended commute and excessive workload, the lower-rank officials of the Mumbai Police have a high fatality rate. Between January 2013 and June 23 this year, the department has lost 1,116 constabulary ranked policemen of which 117 policemen have died in accidents, 239 of cardiac arrest and heart attack, 65 due to diabetes, 34 to Covid-19, and 661 constables have died due to other health problems.
Under the initiative, police officials will undergo 11 different types of medical screening, including stress testing, chest X-ray, 2D Echocardiography, USG abdomen and pelvis, at Nagpada police hospital. Depending on the assessment reports, their family members will also be counselled. The department has temporarily hired 59 people, including doctors and other staff, for the purpose, officials said. Constables above 45 years will be screened every two years, while those up to 45 years will undergo check-up every three years, they added.
A senior IPS officer told The Indian Express that of the 41,959 constables only 14,958 are living in houses provided by the government, while the remaining 27,001 stay in their private houses. In many cases, another official said, after working for almost 12 hours, police personnel end up spending another three to four hours commuting that leave fewer hours for rest and further affect their health.
“This will be a gamechanger for us as many don’t even know if they are suffering from any illness. The thorough medical check-up may help us to warn them and save our men. We are aiming to start this programme by August 15, but it may get delayed,” said Joint Commissioner of Police (Administration) Nawal Bajaj.
A senior IPS officer said the department spent a total of Rs 4.5 crore on the renovation of the Nagpada police hospital, and setting up the infrastructure and equipment. Sixty constables are expected to be screened at the hospital each day initially, and the first round of screenings may take over a year.
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