In Yet Another Tragic Incident, 18 Infants Die In 3 Days In Ahmedabad Hospital, Probe Initiated
The Gujarat state government on 29 October directed a probe by a three-member expert committee to look into the death of at least 18 infants who died in three days; 9 of whom died in the last 24 hours at the Ahmedabad Civil Hospital, Gujarat.
What had happened?
Out of the nine infants who died in the last 24 hours, four were born in the Ahmedabad hospital, and the remaining five were referred to the civil hospital from towns of five districts. Some came to the hospital with “extremely low birth weight” complications, while some suffered from life-threatening diseases and were in critical condition.
The four newborns in the hospital are suspected to have died because of lethal complications such as severe birth asphyxia and meconium aspiration (both acute respiratory problems).
“This is a very sad incident, and we have already appointed a committee to look into the reasons,” Chief Minister Vijay Rupani reportedly said.
The Committee, chaired by Deputy Director of Medical Education, is to investigate the matter for the prima facie reasons about the deaths and submit its reports within a day.
Although promising that the panel shall leave no stone unturned to initiate immediate action to overcome any negligence or fault in the treatment, the chairperson added that at first glance the deaths do not seem to be caused by medical negligence.
What the Opposition had to say?
The Congress has demanded the resignation of the CM Rupani after the death of the infants and added that PM Modi and Mr Amit Shah should share the onus of the infant deaths across the country. Along with this, the party also demanded a court-monitored probe into the matter.
Pointing out that PM Modi, in his monthly radio address, ‘Mann Ki Baat’ did not mention about the topic, Congress leader Jaiveer Shergill said, “Does the Prime Minister not feel the pain of the deaths of these infants in his heart or does he not have any sympathy for the families of the victims?”
Shergill has also opined that assigning Deputy Superintendent of the civil hospital to conduct an inquiry is nothing but an eyewash.
The Logical Indian Take
This incident reminds us of the horrific month of August which had seen the death of around 79 infants who had lost their lives due to the mismanagement on the part of the hospital. The state government had denied that the deaths were due to oxygen shortage, an action was taken against the then college principal, in-charge of the particular ward as well as clerks and the pharmacist for negligence.
Again, 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.
At another instance, 69 children had reportedly died in the same BRD Hospital, Gorakhpur.
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.
The Logical Indian urges the concerned authorities to sit up and look into the specific case of the Ahmedabad hospital 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.