Now, Four Children Dead In Govt Hospital In Chhattisgarh Due To Alleged Cut-Off In Oxygen Supply
August 21st, 2017
Four children died on Sunday night in Chhattisgarh’s capital Raipur, reportedly due to poor supply of oxygen in the state-run Bhimrao Ambedkar Memorial Hospital, according to a report by The NDTV. An attendant Ravi Chandra, drunk on duty, passed out and the oxygen supply stopped for around 30 minutes. He has been suspended by the hospital and arrested.
The tragic incident
According to the hospital administration, there was a dip in the oxygen pressure. Hospital sources added that oxygen supply to the 10 children on ventilator stopped which led to the death of three, who were already in a critical state. In a report by The New Indian Express, State Health Secretary R Prasanna said the oxygen pressure was low and misconduct of the aforementioned technician is to be blamed. He has ruled out any disruption in oxygen supply in the neonatal intensive care unit and paediatric ward.
“The chief medical officer and the hospital superintendent after getting information about low oxygen pressure rushed to resolve the problem. The death of children was due to illness,” he added.
Among the victims, there was a five-day-old infant, suffering from a heart condition. The boy’s father, a resident of Balaghat, Chattisgarh said that the infant had a hole in his heart.
Chief Minister of Chattisgarh, Raman Singh has expressed shock over the incident and has ordered a probe in the case. The director of health services and secretary of health reached the hospital to monitor the situation. Raipur North MLA Shrichand Sundarani also had rushed to the spot after hearing the news. The BR Ambedkar Hospital is one of the largest government healthcare facilities in Chattisgarh.
The Logical Indian take
This is the second time in a span of two weeks that such a tragedy has been reported. More than 70 children had lost their lives in a tragic incident of medical mismanagement in Baba Raghav Das (BRD) Medical College Hospital in Gorakhpur, Uttar Pradesh (UP). Most deaths were reported from the neonatal and encephalitis wards and were caused due to non-payment of outstanding accumulated dues worth Rs 68 lakh that the hospital owed to Pushpa Sales, the sole supplier of liquid oxygen to the hospital. The private company wrote to the hospital repeatedly warning that supply of oxygen could be disrupted if dues were not cleared. The same was also publicised by local media outlets days before the deaths began.
“Due to various factors such as non-availability of expert doctors, skilled manpower, lack of funds and ticklish rules and regulations, it doesn’t become possible to provide professional healthcare to patients at government health facilities,” Gadkari was quoted by The Indian Express as saying.
Gadkari is right. India’s public healthcare system is a disgrace and among the worst in the world. And the pathetic state of health care is not unique to Gorakhpur; it is prevalent across India. Activists, analysts and experts have been screaming for healthcare reform for years. And yet, despite all the warnings, despite all the preventable deaths, healthcare in India remains in shambles.
The Logical Indian urges the centre and the state government to probe into the matter. How many more such deaths do we need to encounter before the government takes adequate measure to prevent such incidents?