Govt wakes up to infant deaths
Orders Probe Into Neonatal Fatalities At GB Pant Hospital
Srinagar, May 16: Admitting that 35 children died in the last fortnight at GB Pant Children’s Hospital here, the Jammu and Kashmir government Wednesday ordered an inquiry into the deaths.
Minister for Medical Education R S Chib informed that Director SKIMS Dr. Showkat Zargar will conduct the inquiry in the deaths and the alleged negligence of doctors.
Talking to media at the hospital, the minister denied increase in the mortality rate during last five months in the hospital saying the deaths were mostly caused due to natural circumstance or due to the ‘untreatable diseases’ like encephalitis etc.
Quoting hospital records since January 1, 2012, the minister said that around 358 children died during the period in the hospital against 1229 admissions. The large number of 105 deaths occurred in March.
“The number of deaths in January is 68 while in February deaths are 66; in March 105; in April 85; in May (up to 12th) 34 deaths occurred,” he said quoting hospitals records.
He expressed his sympathies with the bereaved families and prayed for eternal peace to the departed souls.
However, he said the percentages of deaths which have taken place in last 6 months are more or less the same.
“There is a need to go into further details,” he said and directed the medical authorities that deaths should be brought down to the minimum by taking all possible measures.
“G B Pant Hospital is the only referral Pediatric care hospital in the Valley where patients not only from valley, but also from Banihal, Doda, Bhaderwah and Kargil visit for necessary treatment. And in some cases the patients’ condition gets deteriorated after traveling long distance,” Chib told reporters.
“Around 62 doctors have already been deployed in the hospital for providing treatment to the patients. Government is already in the process to engage more para-medics and also to upgrade the existing equipment so that the patient care is substantially improved,” he said.
The minister also took a round of the Hospital wards with the media persons and appealed the attendants that minimum number of attendants should accompany the patients so that the sanitation and hygiene of the hospital is maintained.
Greater Kashmir has reported how lack of medical care has led to the death of as many as 32 infants in last 15 days. The hospital is facing an acute shortage of trained staff and medical equipment.
However, the doctors said they were unable to cope with the huge overload because of shortage of trained staff and machines. “In the ICU, as against a required 20 to 30 ventilators, there are only five,” they said.
Two days back, a devastated Muhammad Amin took back the body of his two-day-old nephew. The newborn had died from complications after the hospital could not spare a ventilator for him.
Amin said, "We took him to the hospital, but they told us that there was no ventilator available. There weren't adequate machines. I request the government to intervene and save the babies.”
For grieving relatives, coming to terms with the loss has not been easy. Infuriated by the lack of infrastructure and support that resulted in so many deaths, many assaulted the head of the institute. The doctors themselves now want a better infrastructure at the hospital.
The Medical Superintendent of the hospital, Dr Javeed Chowdhary, said, "We would be happy if more trained staff and equipment is provided."
Valley’s only pediatric hospital runs on an annual budget of Rs 13 crore, of which Rs 9 crore alone is spent on the staff salaries. With the mere Rs 4 crore being spent on drugs and equipment, patient-care has invariably become a casualty.
Lastupdate on : Wed, 16 May 2012 21:30:00 Makkah time
Lastupdate on : Wed, 16 May 2012 18:30:00 GMT
Lastupdate on : Thu, 17 May 2012 00:00:00 IST
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