Claims that maternity hospital, Egmore replaced baby boy with girl

A family from Tiruttani has camped at the Government Maternity Hospital in Egmore, seeking an explanation as to how a baby boy turned into a girl, within 12 hours of birth.

The family of autorickshaw driver B. Munirathnam, wants the hospital authorities to explain this mistake.

Munirathnam’s wife Gauthami, was admitted to the hospital on December 17. On Monday, Aruna, wife of Anbarasu of Velappanchavadi, was also admitted to the same hospital, for delivery.

On Thursday around 4.10 p.m., both Aruna and Gauthami gave birth. As per the hospital’s procedure, Munirathnam’s name was announced over a microphone and he was shown a male baby and told it was his.

“I was asked to sign a consent form for sterilisation as this was my second child. I agreed to the family planning operation. But an hour after the surgery, they said my wife had given birth to a girl and that the boy was born to another family. How could they have made such a mistake,” Munirathnam wanted to know.

On Friday morning the family continued its protest and approached the hospital authorities.

“They are telling us that they can prove which baby belongs where by a DNA test. How can this be acceptable?” he asked, adding that they had only consented to a family planning procedure because the baby was a boy and that they had wanted a son.

P. Meenalochani, director of the Institute of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, to which the hospital is attached, admitted this was a mistake on the part of the hospital and that an inquiry was on to find out what went wrong.

The hospital recently installed a closed circuit television system to prevent such mistakes.

Each newborn and its mother are provided with tags to prevent errors. The hospital also has a system of showing the newborn to the family and the husband or a senior family member must sign the register in the labour ward as proof that they have seen the newborn.

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