Hospital groups join police in probe of missing newbornBy Jerome Aning, Julie M. Aurelio
Philippine Daily Inquirer
Apart from the police, hospital organizations are also investigating the alleged abduction of a newly-born boy from the Sta. Teresita General Hospital in Quezon City.
Inspector Elmer Monsalve of the Quezon City Police District said investigators from their women’s desk are already looking at similar incidents which could have involved the same suspect.
Dr. Rustico Jimenez, president of the Philippine Hospital Association (PHA) told reporters Thursday that the organization had summoned officials of Sta. Teresita to explain the apparent security lapses.
“This is shameful, a stain in our organization. This shouldn’t have happened,” he said.
The PHA and the Private Hospitals Association of the Philippines Inc. (PHAP) also called on hospitals, clinics and other health facilities to invest in security gadgets to prevent the occurrence of similar incidents.
The Department of Health issues the permits to operate to hospitals after PHAP standards and requirements are met.
Asked if the PHAP would sanction the hospital if proven negligent, he said: “We will not give them a good standing status so that the DOH will not give them a license. Or we can lower the category of this hospital.”
PHA president and PHAP legal counsel Dr. Bu Castro, in a television interview, said that if a hospital cannot afford closed-circuit television cameras, simple identification procedures should be implemented to ensure the safety of patients.
“They should post the pictures of nurses on duty so their identities can be verified. Only such nurses should be allowed to hold the babies,” he said.
The police have released an artist’s sketch of the female suspect who is in her late 30s, 5’5” in height, of slight built and fair-skinned.
A police report said the suspect, wearing a doctor’s scrubsuit, approached Ces de los Santos, the baby’s mother, around 4 a.m. to tell her that the baby needed to undergo a newborn screening.
A nurse arrived later to give the baby a bath. It was only then De los Santos realized that the “doctor” was not a hospital employee. By then, her baby was gone.