At least 67 infants have died in Gorakhpur’s BRD Medical College in Uttar Pradesh died in last five days, as reported by Hindustan Times.
However, the hospital authorities have claimed that this time the deaths have not taken place due to lack of oxygen as in the August incident which had claimed the lives of at least 70 infants.
Lately, 31 newborns have died in the hospital in last 48 hours. Records show 13 children died on 1 November, 12 on 2 November, as many as 18 on 3 November and a dozen each on 4 and 5 November.
The majority of deaths were reported from the hospital’s neonatal intensive care unit (NICU), paediatric intensive care unit (PICU) and encephalitis wards.
Besides, acute encephalitis syndrome (AES) and Japanese encephalitis (JE) (an east UP epidemic that breaks out each monsoon), the child deaths have been attributed to malnutrition, diarrhoea, pneumonia, infections, cardiovascular complications and poor metabolic conditions.
BRD Medical College principal PK Singh has pointed out that most patients come from afar and approach the hospital only when their conditions are very critical. This hospital caters to 15 districts of east UP, besides Bihar and Nepal.
It is important to note that around 69 deaths in four days were reported from the same BRD Medical College since 7 October.
Although the BJP-led Uttar Pradesh government have been making efforts at upgrading the healthcare facilities in the state by bringing in more doctors and constructing a 500- bed encephalitis ward; it is not enough to meet the growing demands.
Samajwadi Party spokesperson Sunil Yadav reportedly said, “It’s sad to know and say that our government is laidback and not adhering to the cries of the common man … Rather than running around temples, Adityanath should build well-equipped hospitals and centres for children.”
The Logical Indian Take
‘Actions’ were taken against the then college principal, in-charge of the particular ward as well as clerks and the pharmacist of BRD Medical College for negligence. However, the state government already knew of the lack of oxygen supply in BRD Medical College. In spite of that, the state of healthcare in the state still remains abysmal.
In another instance, 49 newborns had reportedly lost their lives at the Special Newborn Care Unit (SNCU) ward of Dr Ram Manohar Lohia (RML) government hospital in Farrukhabad, Uttar Pradesh (UP) in the last one month.
All of this point to only one thing: India’s public healthcare system is a disgrace and among the worst in the world. The pathetic state of healthcare is a characteristic feature of the government hospitals all over India.
Nearly one million Indians die every year due to inadequate healthcare facilities and close to 700 million citizens have no access to specialist care.
If the government were to increase government spending on healthcare from the current below-1.5% levels to UN-recommended 2.5%-levels, it would improve health conditions of millions of Indians.
It is essential for UP Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath to take his attention away from gaushalas (cowsheds) and invest more time and energy at improving medical facilities in the state, instead of blindly asking other states to emulate the functioning of UP hospitals.
The Logical Indian urges the concerned authorities to sit up and look into the specific case of the BRD Medical College as well as that of the entire country. It is essential that the medical system goes through a complete overhaul and similar unfortunate incidents are averted.