The administration of Holy Family Hospital has decided to conduct a security audit by the police and prepare a formal document enlisting new standard operating procedures (SOPs) to ensure foolproof security in the wake of a recent kidnapping of a newborn.
The abducted baby was recovered after a prolonged police effort on the fifth day of the child’s disappearance.
According to Holy Family Hospital Medical Superintendent (MS) Dr Shazia Zaib, the administration has decided to carry out a comprehensive audit to plug the recently discovered loopholes and gaps in the security system of the hospital.
“It is necessary to audit the security system to avoid any untoward incident in the future,” she said, urging a regular audit of the security arrangements so that incidents like kidnapping of infants are avoided in the future.
The MS said that the administration has already sent a formal letter to police authorities to address security concerns of the hospital through an audit.
She said that the hospital administration is moving forward with an open mind so that the public health facility can ensure a better security setup.
“All CCTV cameras are also being technically reviewed and more high resolution CCTV cameras are being installed,” added Dr Shazia. The senior official said that the nursing staff of the hospital has been consulted after the incident and their grievances have been heard.
Dr Shazia said that the gynaecology ward, labour room, and nursery will be provided an entirely separate security system apart from the regular security of the hospital. Furthermore, the presence of the head nurse will be mandatory in the nursery to double check the identity of anyone entering the room at the time of feeding.
Read Newborn abducted from HFH
Meanwhile, Vice Chancellor of Rawalpindi Medical University Dr Muhammad Umar has called for a complete report on the current security system in Holy Family Hospital, Benazir Bhutto General Hospital, District Headquarters Hospital and all other public health facilities in the cantonment city.
According to sources, security personnel have been directed to remain extra vigilant on the internal and external routes of hospitals. The health authorities will also review security arrangements at the hospital on a fortnightly basis.
Last Sunday, a newborn was kidnapped from the nursery of the hospital by unknown suspects, following which the security system of the city’s largest government hospital was widely criticised.
The suspects had replaced the baby with a plastic doll and managed to escape without even being caught on the CCTV footage of the hospitals.
Five days later, on Friday, the kidnappers left the abducted baby outside a private hospital and fled.
The investigation team working under the supervision of Capital City Police Officer (CCPO) Ahsan Younis left no stone unturned to retrieve the child. Fearing police surveillance, the kidnappers left the child outside a private hospital. However, the hunt for the suspects is still underway.
Published in The Express Tribune, November 7th, 2021.