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Newborns still in unsafe hands

History repeats itself but some people hardly take any lesson from it.

The Patna Medical College and Hospital administration seems to have done little about ensuring safety of newborns there even after a baby was stolen from the admission ward of the gynaecology department building on New Year’s Eve.

This is what The Telegraph found after visiting the health hub on Thursday.

Where: Entrance to the gynaecology department building

Time: 10.45am

What we saw: Guards deployed there neither asked this correspondent once to show her identity card nor did they ask whom to meet. They rather helped to open the door of the admission ward

What we heard: What we heard: “When I went outside the building around 11.45pm on Wednesday night to bring medicine for my patient, I found all the security guards sleeping at their places,” said Archana Mishra, an attendant of a patient in the maternity ward and a resident of Fatuha

Where: Admission ward, where pregnant women are kept before Caesarean and normal deliveries. One has to enter this ward to go to maternity ward where women are shifted with their newborns after delivery

Time: 11am

What we saw: Even after entering admission ward, the lady doctor as well as junior doctors and nurses did not ask this correspondent why she had entered the ward when they were treating an emergency case. The condition of a pregnant lady had become serious and the lady doctor along with some juniors were attending to the patient

What we heard: “For Tuesday’s incident, you can’t blame the hospital administration. The woman handed over the newborn to some unknown people in the ward and they stole the baby. Why did she hand over the baby to some unknown person? It was her fault. There are security guards in the hospital but they cannot look after every patient. Patients and their attendants also have to understand their responsibility,” said a junior doctor, who did not wish to be named.

Where: Maternity ward. This correspondent visited different rooms, including special cabin rooms (where newborns are shifted with their mothers), labour room and intensive care unit

Time: 11.15am

What we saw: No security guard. Maids present inside the maternity ward are hardly bothered about anybody’s entry in the ward

What we heard: “Why the PMCH authorities can’t issue passes for attendants of patients to strengthen the security arrangements?” said Malti Devi, 65, an attendant of a patient in the room D-2 (where Tuesday’s incident took place)

Officialspeak: “Due to some reasons, we could not renew the entry pass system but we would reintroduce it from January 26,” Bimal Karak, deputy superintendent, PMCH.

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