Audio messages, women guards in hospitals to avert baby thefts in Mumbai

In a bid to prevent baby thefts in city hospitals, authorities have decided to use an audio platform to warn patients against suspicious people in the premises besides deploying women guards for their safety.

Updated: Oct 18, 2010, 11:54 AM IST

Mumbai: In a bid to prevent baby thefts in city hospitals, authorities have decided to use an audio platform to warn patients against suspicious people in the premises besides deploying women guards for their safety.

"On the lines of Railway announcements, we intend to play audio messages in hospitals alerting people to be beware of suspicious persons in the premises and urging them to
report the same to hospital staff or authorities. Apart from this, we plan to put up pictorial alerts displaying Do`s and Dont`s on the issue," Medical Director (Civic Hospitals), Dr
Sanjay Oak said.

Besides, all counters relating to paperwork of the mother and new-born child would be set up near the OPD itself on a single floor, to avoid such thefts, he said. A two-month-old boy identified as Ayush Mishra was abducted from the V N Desai Hospital in suburban Santacruz on Friday, where his mother had brought him for a routine polio
dose. Ayush was amongst a pair of twins born to Vakola residents Pooja and Avdesh Mishra.

Also, the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) will deploy women guards in all civic-run hospitals here soon. The Standing Committee of the BMC last week gave its
nod for deploying 200 women guards at major civic and peripheral hospitals in the city, Additional Municipal Commissioner Manisha Mhaiskar said.

Less than two years after a poor couple`s son was abducted from the civic-run Sion Hospital, the Bombay High Court had framed several guidelines, which were to be
implemented in civic-run, semi-government and government hospitals across the state. One of the suggested measures was to install CCTV cameras and computerised biometrics system to record footprints, fingerprints and birthmarks, if any, within two hours of a child`s birth or admission.

The other suggestions included authorised female visitor must be given a valid hospital pass to be allowed into the maternity ward and installing VCD or LCD screens and other
systems to inform patients and visitors about such incidents.

PTI