Theft rife at Pyinmana Hospital in Nay Pyi Taw
PATIENTS and staff need to safeguard their belongings at the 200-bed Pyinmana Hospital in Nay Pyi Taw, according to its administrator, following a spate of recent thefts.
“During the six months I have been administrator, money, phones and even motorbikes have been stolen,” said Dr Aung Myint Oo.
Items are mainly stolen from hospital staff, the administrator said, including two motorbikes that were stolen from assistant doctors earlier this year.
Regarding the motorbike thefts, it seems the offenders knew the hospital well as they made their escape on paths designed to be used by wheelchairs.
“The buildings are scattered throughout the [hospital] compound and there are many exits, making it easy for thieves to escape,” Dr Aung Myint Oo added.
A lack of supervision or restrictions on patients’ visitors has also contributed to the recent thefts, said one hospital staff member, Daw Yin New Soe.
“There are a great number of visitors and people who wait with patients at the hospital. If someone comes into a room, we cannot know which patient they are visiting,” she said.
“I heard of many thefts while I was working. I decided not to take valuable objects to work with me. If we don’t take precious items, they can’t be stolen,” she added.
Dr Aung Myint Oo said that though patients are officially only allowed to have one person stay with them while they are hospitalised, doctors often allow more people from the nearby villages to stay so that they do not have to travel home late at night. Pyinmana Hospital administrator
He suspects that some of these people steal during those night-time hours, when there are not many staff working.
“On-call rooms [where doctors rest] are like bedrooms for doctors. These thieves are stealing from their bedrooms. In one case, a doctor rushed off to deal with an emergency and did not lock the door [to the on-call room]. Money was stolen from his wallet,” the hospital administrator said.
“Police locked down the compound but we think the thief was able to escape over one of the compound’s low exterior walls,” he added.
Local shopkeeper Ko Tun Kyi said more could be done to prevent theft, especially of motorbikes.
“In the past there were parking attendants at the hospital. They were responsible if bikes were stolen. Now there are no longer attendants and no one pays parking fees. Motorcycles should be locked away if they come to the hospital. Handle-locks do not work. They need to be locked away in a metal cage. Only bikes that are not locked away are taken,” he said. – Translation by Khine Thazin Han
and San Layy
‘During the six months I have been administrator, money, phones and even motorbikes have been stolen.’
Dr Aung Myint Oo