Theft rife at Py­in­mana Hos­pi­tal in Nay Pyi Taw

The Myanmar Times - - News - SWAN YE HTUT swanye­htut@mm­times.com

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

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