Apparently perturbed over media reports highlighting the functioning of the health department, particularly related to expectant women and newborns, the civil hospital has banned the entry of mediapersons and photojournalists to its mother and child care centre.
Security guards deputed outside the centre have been issued orders to ensure no mediaperson enters there without the written permission of either the medical superintendent or the senior medical officer.
The department has remained in the news for all wrong reasons, especially on alleged negligence and shortcomings and failing to ensure redressal of patients’ complaints as highlighted by the media. Therefore, it is trying to curb the dissemination of information about the patient admitted to the mother and child care centre.
Mediapersons were not even allowed to speak to the attendants of expectant mothers who have been shifted to the wards after delivery.
It has been learnt that the orders were passed after the death of newborns and delivery of some stillborn kids at the Mother Child Hospital of Lord Mahavira Civil Hospital, Ludhiana, last month following which the working of the department had come under the scanner over alleged negligence of doctors.
This came to light when two mediapersons reached the mother and child care centre to talk to a patient, Rekha, who delivered a baby inside an auto-rickshaw a few days back outside the entrance of the civil hospital.
The newborn boy died soon after he was taken inside to the hospital.
A security guard requesting anonymity said they received orders from the hospital authorities not to allow mediapersons inside the centre and if they want to talk with patients or their attendants they will have written permission from the medical superintendent or SMO.
When one of the mediapersons called medical superintendent Kelash Kapoor about the move, the latter said, “Orders have been issued to stop mediapersons from entering the labour room and also save mothers breastfeeding their babies from hassle caused by clicking of pictures by photojournalists.
On their insistence, he allowed them to talk to patients with a security guard escorting them inside.
Senior medical officer Dr Sangeeta said orders are not new since photography and videotaping are prohibited at the mother and child care centre.
Civil surgeon Dr RL Bassan said only the medical superintendent could comment on the issue.
When contacted, health minister Surjit Kumar Jyani said, “Who can ban mediapersons at the mother and child care centre? I will talk to officials in Jalandhar abou this.”