New Delhi: Delhi Health Minister Satyendra Jain today urged Lt. Governor Najeeb Jung and Delhi Police to ensure the safety of doctors in hospitals in the capital.
The appeal from Delhi Health Minister Satyendra Jain follows two incidents of violence against doctors in two hospitals here.
The Minister also asked Police Commissioner B.S. Bassi to probe both the cases and submit a report in 15 days. The two incidents were reported from the Bhagwan Mahavir Hospital and Babu Jagjiwan Ram Hospital.
Jain said: “You are requested to conduct an enquiry in both the incidents and fix responsibility against the guilty. The report … may be sent to me within 15 days.”
In his letter to Jung, Jain wrote: “While you instructed the police to provide adequate security in hospitals, two incidents have taken place…
“In these incidents, policemen were present at the site of the incidents. (But) they did not prevent the occurrence of the incidents and remained spectators.
“It seems there is a deliberate and malafide action on the part of the police to create such incidents and spread disaffection among the doctors to paralyze the services in the hospitals,” Jain wrote.
He said the police should nominate a senior officer to monitor all such cases.
Resident doctors of 22 government hospitals in Delhi went on strike on June 22-23 seeking security and better healthcare facilities.
Chennai, Tamil Nadu, September 8, 2017:Hospitals in India are starting to tag newborns, mothers, and medics as well as installing extra security cameras and educating staff to spot baby thieves amid fears that baby trafficking is becoming an organized crime nationwide.
Officials said this was part of a drive starting at government hospitals in southern Tamil Nadu state to ensure nurses, doctors and visitors know of the threat of babies being stolen from maternity wards and babies being sold illegally for adoption that is baby trafficking.
At the Rajaji government hospital in Madurai, the first in Tamil Nadu to introduce the program, laser beams at exit points trigger alarms if untagged adults take babies out in order to curb baby trafficking.
“We just want to prevent the theft of babies,” N.K. Mahalakshmi, the doctor in charge of laser tagging at the hospital, told the Thomson Reuters Foundation. “It is not fool proof but a deterrent. … Our hospital staff has also been told to be extra vigilant.”
Traffickers, officials sometimes collude
Campaigners have raised concerns that traffickers are often colluding with officials to steal babies from maternity wards and illegally sell them for adoption which is baby trafficking.
Mumbai police arrested a gang for convincing single mothers to sell their babies last year, while in West Bengal police found newborns being stolen from mothers in medical clinics after staff told them that their babies were stillborn.
Dev Ananth, a child protection officer in Tirunelveli district, said the state government is investigating several cases where hospital staff persuaded mothers to sell their babies for about 10,000 Indian rupees ($156).
Tirunelveli district will put posters up in every hospital, alerting pregnant women, families, and staff to the dangers of baby trafficking in overcrowded corridors.
“Many don’t see it as a trafficking issue,” he said.
“We are going to train hospital staff to identify potential cases, including what to do if a baby is abandoned at birth. At present, the do’s and don’ts are not clear.”
No official data on baby trafficking
There is no official data on the number of babies stolen from hospitals in Tamil Nadu, but almost 180,000 children were born in government facilities in 2016, statistics show.
More than four out of 10 of human trafficking cases in India in 2015 involved children being bought, sold and exploited as modern-day slaves, according to crime figures.
“Public hospitals are vulnerable spaces where there are no effective ways to monitor access to newborn babies,” said Paul Sunder Singh of the children’s charity Karunalaya. (VOA)