Mabaruma hospital break-in heightens security fears

The staff attached to the Mabaruma Regional Hospital in Region One has voiced concern over the lack of security at the institution after an intruder broke in early Wednesday morning and tampered with equipment.

According to reports, sometime around 4:30 am on Wednesday, patients at the maternity section of the hospital got a rude awakening after a man was found sleeping on the hospital floor, where he was decked out in an oxygen mask among other medical apparel.

Minister within the Ministry of Health Dr Bheri Ramsarran, when contacted by this newspaper, said that he will examine the relevant report on the matter and the ministry will decide what course of action will be taken to rectify the situation.

According to a source in the region, the police are investigating the incident. Reports are that around 2:30 am, the man, who was described as a vagrant, broke into the hospital and proceeded to tamper with medical equipment within the hospital’s x-ray department. The source noted that the man rearranged the department and later proceeded to other sections of the hospital before finally entering the maternity ward. Several medical documents were subsequently found in the various sections of the hospital.

“The hospital is situated in such a way that the three staff on duty, a nurse, midwife and porter are upstairs while the maternity section is at the bottom flat,” the source noted. This newspaper was told that there were five patients within the maternity ward and that the area where the man was found sleeping is usually frequented only during the daytime. A patient within the ward observed the man sleeping on the hospital floor and he subsequently woke and walked around the unit wearing an oxygen mask and ”he been asking patients how them doing and so, that is just before he left.”
An alarm was raised and the man subsequently left the hospital compound.

Reports are that a series of high level meetings were held within the past two days in which the regional health officers, resident doctors and regional administrators discussed the issue.

A staff member at the Ministry of Health noted yesterday that medical staff at Mabaruma had complained bitterly over the past several months about the lack of proper security at the state of the art hospital. He said that at the moment, “a piece of wire is used to lock the gate and the main door leading to the hospital is unserviceable.”

It was noted too that the lone security guard who works at the hospital is only required to safeguard the fuel depot at the hospital.

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