Maharashtra govt asks hospitals to ensure biometric ID of infants



Mumbai: In order to prevent thefts of babies from hospitals, the Maharashtra government has asked state-run medical centres to ensure biometric identification of infants within two hours of birth.

Footprints, finger prints and special birth marks, if any, and biometric identification of infants must be noted within two hours of birth or admission in a ward of the hospital, said a recently issued government resolution (GR), as per guidelines of a 2009 High Court judgement.

The hospitals, where biometric identification facility is not available, have been asked to arrange for it within six months.

No infant should be allowed to be taken outside the hospital unless discharged or without permission of the in-charge nurse and infants should not ordinarily be allowed to be taken out of neonatal, postnatal and paediatric wards.

However, if the infant is required to be taken out of the ward, the staff must verify that the person leaving the ward with the infant, wears an identification band and he/she must be accompanied by other staff of the ward, the GR says.

Hospitals have also been asked to install CCTV cameras at entry and exist routes as well as sensitive areas of the premises like neonatal, postnatal and paediatric wards.

The visiting hours must be fixed and no visitor should be allowed to enter the neonatal, postnatal wards and paediatric wards unless proper entries are made in the register about his/her name, address and other particulars regarding the purpose of the visit.

Security guards must be present 24 hours outside these wards, while female guards must be posted inside. All of them must be equipped with walky-talkies.

Photographs, addresses and other particulars of the security guards must be noted and kept in the hospitals, the GR said.

PTI