Following Tuesday's incident of child theft at Calcutta Medical College and Hospital (CMCH) that had created a furore across West Bengal, the state health department has decided to abolish the Ayah system in this hospital.
The decision was taken at a high-level meeting chaired by Dr Nirmal Maji, Chairman of the Rogi Kalyan Samiti of the hospital with senior officials including the medical superintendent, principal and various departmental heads on Wednesday.
It was decided at the meeting that Ayahs or attendants would no longer be allowed to operate in the hospital. The senior officials of CMCH also decided to repair the CCTVs that were lying defunct. There are around 200 CCTVs installed at various points within the hospital campus but many of these are on the blink.
A committee has been constituted to probe into the incident of child theft. DNA test may also be conducted on the baby boy who was stolen from the hospital on Tuesday. The hospital authorities also decided to issue identity cards to relatives of patients admitted to the hospital to check any such incidents.
It was alleged that the CMCH authorities did not have specific data on the total number of Ayahs operating from the hospital. None of these attendants carry any identity cards. They often have unhindered access to wards posing as relatives of patients. It was learnt from sources that there are around 200 attendants working at various departments of the hospital. It is alleged that the Ayahs charge patients arbitrarily at various state-run hospitals. In case of CMCH, the Ayahs used to get Rs 150 from a patient for providing care.