Uttarakhand director general of health on Sunday ordered a probe into the alleged theft of a newborn baby girl from a government hospital in Dehradun.
Late on Saturday, an unidentified woman stole a newborn baby girl from the maternity ward of the combined government hospital in Premnagar, on the outskirts of Dehradun, officials said.
“I have formed a joint team to investigate the matter,” said state director general (health) Dr RP Bhatt.
The department is working on a security plan for government health facilities to install closed circuit cameras (CCTVs) and deploy more security guards, he said.
District health authorities, however, blamed the family members for the incident, saying that they should not have trusted the woman without knowing her credentials.
“Since past two days the unidentified woman used to visit 28-year-old Anita, who gave birth to a girl child,” chief medical officer of Dehradun district, Dr SP Agarwal told Hindustan Times.
“The family members are to be blamed for the incident as they blindly trusted someone whom they didn’t know at all. The incident should be an example for people admitted at hospitals, whether government or private,” he said.
On Saturday evening, Anita asked her mother to get noodles from outside. The woman was sitting by her side then. Anita’s mother handed the baby to the woman, saying that she would be back within 15 minutes. When she left, the woman took the baby for a round.
Questioned by a nurse where she was taking the baby, the woman said she was going to see the doctor and then disappeared without any trace.
When Anita’s mother returned, she searched for the woman but could not find her. She inquired about the woman from the guard and the nurses in the ward but got no clue.
After hours of futile search for the baby, Anita’s father, Rajesh, who works as a guard along with other relatives lodged a complaint with the Premnagar police station late on Saturday. The Premnagar police searched for the baby but failed to find her.
A similar incident of baby theft was reported at the district womens’ hospital in May this year following which the authorities installed CCTV cameras at the hospital.
There are 13 district hospitals in state, 225 primary health centre, 55 community health centre and 1800 sub centres.
Wherever there are security guards, there is no check on the number of attendants who can accompany the patient.
As a result of which, despite deploying guards, the government health units fail to check such incidents.
“If our guards stop people from visiting indoor patients, they come to fight with the management,” said Dr RS Aswal, director Doon Group of Hospitals.