Following the abduction of a baby from a Quebec hospital last night, one Saskatoon mother said she wishes she asked more questions about hospital security.
"My first reaction was how shocking it was and just how — thinking about it — it really could be done quite easily," said Shantelle Garlson, who gave birth to her son, Spencer, 10 months ago at Saskatoon's Royal University Hospital.
She said she never felt unsafe because she was never asked to leave the room without her son and he was never taken away without her. However, if she has another baby, she said she will ask more questions because of what happened yesterday.
Quebec provincial police said that just before 7 p.m. EST Monday, a woman dressed as a nurse showed up at a hospital in Trois-Rivières and entered the maternity ward. Police said the woman took the baby from the mother, and left the room with the newborn wrapped in a blue blanket.
Police issued the Amber Alert shortly after and the baby was found three hours later when four young adults learned of the abduction through Facebook.
Security measures in place
Sharon Garratt, executive director of women's and children's health with the Regina Qu'Appelle Heath Region, said the region has security measures in place to ensure that what happened in Quebec doesn't happen at its hospitals.
"We don't talk a lot about the details of those measures and the reason for that is, if you talk about what you do, it can make the measures less effective," Garratt said.
However, the one example she could give is that the unit is not open to everyone. Mothers must identify the specific people they want to visit and that number is limited.
"The women who are on the unit identify specific people that they want to come visit, and those people have bands, so there isn't a lot of traffic flowing through the unit," Garratt said.
The Saskatoon Health Region would not comment about security at its hospitals.
The Saskatchewan Ministry of Health said there are no security protocols or minimum standards for hospital maternity wards in this province. Each health region determines its own security measures
Garratt said the Regina Qu'Appelle Health Region looks to organizations with specific interests and expertise for guidance, such as the National Centre for Missing and Exploited Children.