In an attempt to improve the personal hygiene of patients, the Karnataka government has issued a directive to all government hospitals to ensure that their patients and their attendants have well-kept beards and hair.
Rakesh Prakash reports for The Times of India that a government directive have been issued on behalf of Health minister KR Ramesh Kumar to set up salons in hospital premises, with the initial focus on taluk hospitals.
The move will improve the confidence of the patients and also reflect in their personal hygiene.
â€śCreate space in hospital premises for barbers to set up shops and submit a compliance report," reads the directive that has by now earned appreciation from the medical fraternity.
Over and above ensuring the patientâ€™s personal hygiene, the decision is also expected to make things easier for the hospital authorities in dealing with accident and hernia cases, where removing the body hair of the patients is necessary.
â€śThe move will also help foster the patient-doctor relationship. Imagine a hospital where patients and their relatives are moving around with untrimmed beards or uncombed tresses. Won't that be dispiriting?â€ś Besides, the probability of bushy beards becoming colonies for bacteria is quite high in a hospital, the minister told TOI.
However, the hospital authorities have been instructed to ensure that there is no violation on grounds of religious practices.
â€śThis is not a hard and fast rule; it is only aimed at ensuring a better hospital environment. The sentiments of different religious communities will be respected, and no one will be forced to change his or her looks against their will,â€ś a senior health department official told TOI.