TANAH MERAH: Investigations showed that the hospital discharge procedure was not followed properly, resulting in the kidnapping of a baby girl, said health director-general Datuk Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah.
He said investigations were carried out by the Kelantan Health Department and Hospital Tanah Merah, where the incident occurred.
“The staff and security personnel on duty failed to take all the steps necessary to identify the real parents during the discharge,” Dr Noor Hisham said in a statement Thursday.
Responding to media reports, he said the kidnapping occurred at the hospital on Tuesday during visiting hours when there were many visitors at the ward.
A mother who had given birth to a baby in the hospital went to breastfeed her baby at around 8.30pm but found that the infant had been taken out by an unknown couple, he said.
A police report was then lodged.
Following swift action by the police, the baby was found the same night and the suspects were caught and remanded for further investigations under Section 363 of the Penal Code, he added.
Dr Noor Hisham said the lapse in the screening process was against the ministry's 2007 circular containing guidelines on infant safety control systems in government hospitals.
He said hospitals must ensure that mothers and their newborn babies are given name tags or bracelets which contain pertinent information.
“These identification tags have to be checked, especially when the baby is being handled and before leaving the labour room or ward,” he said.
Hospital Tanah Merah had also been asked to issue “waiting cards” for mothers who wish to breastfeed their baby.
Mothers are also required to show their identity card before bringing their babies out, and the specialised care nursery ward has to be separated from the paediatrics ward to ensure safety of the babies.
If the mother could not be present, the father or next-of-kin must bring along the mother’s identity card and marriage certificate.
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