Patients and their attendants in government hospitals in Karnataka will no longer have to sport bushy beards and unkempt tresses as Chief Minister Siddaramaiah has issued a directive making it mandatory for all government hospitals to have hair salons in their premises.
The state government has ordered the hospitals to create space in their premises for barbers to set up shops and submit a compliance report.
The directive, issued to all district health officers, is aimed to ensure high personal hygiene among patients and their attendants.
The objective is to have a squeaky clean look - shaved face and combed hair as opposed to the grunge look - to increase confidence levels among patients and also expedite their rate of recovery. The initial focus will be on taluka hospitals.
Hospital authorities will also be instructed to ensure there is no violation of religious sentiments on the pretext of personal hygiene.
"This is not a hard-and-fast rule; it is only aimed at ensuring a better hospital environment," said K.R. Ramesh Kumar, Karnataka's Health and Family Welfare Minister.
Explaining the rationale behind the directive, Kumar said, "These hospitals also get accident victims and hernia patients. Body hair has to be removed to conduct surgeries or to administer treatment, and we cannot go running in search of a barber in such circumstances. Hence, the directive is to set up barber shops.
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