Odisha Sun Times Bureau
Cuttack, Aug 28:
The infant death toll at the Sardar Vallabhbhai Post Graduate Institute of Paediatrics (SVPGIP), better known as Sishu Bhavan, in Odisha’s Cuttack city went up to 42 this evening with the death of seven more infants today.
According to reports, the six deceased infants are from Baliapal, Dhenkanal, Baleswar, Rajgangpur, Chandikhole and Cuttack city.
With this, 42 infants have died in the last eight days.
Tension ran high at Sishu Bhawan for sometime this evening as irate locals locked the main gate in protest against the gross mismanagement by the hospital authorities after a child from Dewan Bazar area in the city died this evening.
Family members of the child have alleged that negligence on the part of the doctors led to the death of the infant.
A division bench of the High Court today directed the state government to provide adequate doctors and staff to Sishu Bhavan and directed the inquiry committee formed by the Health and Family Welfare department, to submit its status report by September 4. The court posted its next hearing toSeptember 4.
The court issued the directive in response to a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) filed in this connection.
Meanwhile, a delegation of Congress leaders led by Leader of Opposition in the state Assembly Nnarasingha Mishra arrived this evening. The delegation would talk to parents of infants admitted in the hospital, besides the doctors and paramedical staff, sources said.
A three-member team of Indian Paediatricts Association also visited the premier children’s hospital today and took stock of the infrastructure and facilities there. The team denied reports of negligence by doctors and other hospital staff.
In New Delhi, Union Petroleum minister Dharmendra Pradhan said he would visit Sishu Bhavan with a team of officials from the Union Health minister tomorrow.
“I have already talked to the Health Minister Mr Nadda. We will see what help is needed to improve things in the hospital,” he said today.
In a surprise visit, Health and Family Welfare secretary Arati Ahuja arrived at Sishu Bhavan at about 8.30 PM yesterday. She visited ICU (Paedriactic), ICU (Blood Unit) and Pathology Lab. After visiting the wards, she had an interaction with the parents of the ailing infants.
Talking to the media persons later, Ahuja said the department has started investigation into the complaints lodged by the parents and guardians that their infants have died due to gross neglect in treatment by the doctors and hospital staff and nurses.
“We would not spare anyone if he/she is found guilty. As a mother, I know what would be the mental agony of the parents who have lost their children”, she added.