Measures taken include installation of CCTV cameras

Security has been beefed up at Coimbatore Medical College Hospital (CMCH), particularly at the labour ward and neo-natal intensive care unit (NICU), to prevent theft of new-born babies. The measures taken include installation of Closed Circuit Television (CCTV) cameras, deploying additional security personnel and restricting the entry into the ward.

These measures were part of a State-wide initiative taken up at Government hospitals following an incident in which a day old baby boy, born to a 19-year-old, was abducted a few months ago from Government Rajaji Hospital in Madurai.

Hospital Dean R. Vimala told The Hindu here on Friday that around 30 cameras had been installed at the entrance and exit points of sensitive departments such as labour, trauma, zero-delay, casualty and the intensive care unit, besides the kitchen.

Of these, seven CCTVs were kept at Labour Ward and NICU to monitor all entry points. The footage from the CCTVs were also digitally stored. The Tamil Nadu Health Systems had recently appointed around 50 security personnel to the CMCH. Around 10 of them are posted round-the-clock at the Labour Ward and NICU.

Security personnel were instructed to restrict entry only to authorised persons. Only one attendant was allowed to accompany the patients inside the labour ward.

Further, the Dean said that a television had been installed at the waiting room in which the patients’ relatives can view the images of the new born babies immediately. The name of the child’s parents, their place of residence and other details would also be announced simultaneously.

A boom barrier and a security outpost had been installed near the CMCH entrance to prevent entry of unauthorised vehicles. All vehicles and persons entering the hospital would be recorded through CCTVs.

Dr. Vimala said: “There have been no incidents of new born babies being abducted at CMCH in the past two years. During this time, a lot of measures were put in place to enhance the security on the hospital premises. Emphasis was placed on keeping out anti-social elements.”

A total of 6,421 deliveries were recorded in 2013 at the CMCH. As many as 512 deliveries were recorded during January this year.

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