‘Staff, guard responsible’
> Negligence led to abduction of baby
PETALING JAYA: The staff and security guard of Tanah Merah Hospital were responsible for an infant abduction incident on Nov 15.
This is the finding of the Kelantan Health Department and Tanah Merah Hospital.
Health Director-General Datuk Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah said the abduction took place because those on duty did not adhere to discharge procedures to verify the identity of the “couple” who claimed to be relatives of the five-day-old baby.
“Investigations by the department and hospital found that the discharge process was not fulfilled when the baby was allowed to be taken home. The staff and security guard on duty did not take complete steps to ascertain the identity of the parents during discharge,” Noor Hisham said.
He added the process did not follow the Health Director-General’s Circular 1/2007: Guidelines of Infant Security Control Systems in Ministry of Health Malaysia’s Hospitals.
“Hospitals must ensure the identification tag of a newborn and the parents are the same.
“The tags must be checked, especially when handling an infant, before the baby leaves the delivery room or ward,” he said.
Noor Hisham, however, did not say whether any disciplinary action would be taken against the personnel involved.
On Tuesday night, a newborn baby girl was taken from the children’s ward of the hospital.
In the 7pm incident, a couple had allegedly discharged the baby and took her out of the hospital. The infant’s father, Mohd Ihtisyamuddin Mohd Ashri, 29, lodged a police report immediately.
At about 10pm the same night, police tracked down the baby and found her in the possession of the couple, who are in their twenties, at Selising in Pasir Puteh.
Noor Hisham said the hospital has been directed to take proactive measures to ensure no such incidents happen again. Among the measures put in place are:
waiting cards for breastfeeding mothers;
recording parents’ and close relatives’ details;
produce marriage certificate when discharging the newborn: and
hospital to record a baby’s discharge with a duplicate copy signed by a nurse. The first copy is to be signed by the parents and the security guard.