Safety & Security Today (S&ST): After a successful career in Pakistan Army, what has been your experience in the field of security?
Fazle Abbas (FA): I retired from the Armed Forces as a Lieutenant Colonel and somehow my transition into the corporate world was unpretentious. I served in the Security and Administration department of British Petroleum Pakistan for seven years and later joined Pakistan State Oil (PSO) as the General Manager for Security and Administration. I was associated with PSO for five years and gained massive experience in the field.
My corporate journey and relevant experience from leading conglomerates brought me an opportunity of working with NICVD as the Head of Security. I am honored to be part of this prestigious organization where my utmost desire is to prove worthy and do justice to my role.
S&ST: NICVD is a very robust and functional place in terms of public engagement, what motivates you and how do you manage day to day security?
FA: At this point in my career, my main motivation is to do my best to help people and give back to the country. In addition to the challenges associated with my role at NICVD, it also gave me an opportunity to be the source of meaningful support to the common man. I am grateful to the Executive Director of NICVD, Prof. Nadeem Qamar for all the support he provides in the matters related to security and also, I am lucky to have courteous support from other management staff of the institute which ensures work effectiveness.
I am responsible for the security of the NICVD headquarters and its nine satellites located in different parts of Sindh. Various types of patients from different parts of the province visit the hospital and that itself is an arduous task when it comes to security management. My role has not only kept me busy but has given me a new perspective to look at things. Working in the healthcare setup is very different than other corporates which makes a massive contribution to your learning curve.
S&ST: There are security issues when patients or their attendees get sentimental and noncooperative, how do you deal with such instances?
FA: Yes and that is absolutely one of those dilemmas that I, along with my team, face countless times a day. To understand this situation, we must accept that naturally, the attendees are extremely sensitive when they rush to the hospital. It is our responsibility to calm them down and let them know that we are aware of the mental trauma and stress they are going through but at the same time, there is a protocol that needs to be followed for the welfare of their patients undergoing critical care.
I personally ensure that if the situation escalates, my last resort is to counsel them one on one and make them understand the rules are in the best interests of their near ones. So far, this approach has always worked to de-escalate the situation.
S&ST: What is it like to be the Director of Security at NICVD? What are the challenges and complications that you face under your administration?
FA: Hospital security is most challenging and since this is a government hospital with no restriction on entrance the challenge has increased tenfold. The attendees have to be dealt tactfully. Another challenge is the availability of quality and skilled staff to handle security matters. Sometimes I have to manage with just 50% strength.
My goal is to provide doctors with a safe environment where they can deal with patients without any untoward disturbance.