‘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.

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