Hospital chief axed after 368 deaths

Hospital chief axed after 368 deaths

J&K government acts after protests

The Jammu and Kashmir government on Thursday removed the medical superintendent of G B Pant Hospital in Srinagar where 368 children have died since January 1.

Health and medical education secretary M K Dwivedi onThursday said, “Doctor Skowkat Ali Zargar, director of Sher-e-Kashmir Institute of Medical Sciences, discussed his preliminary findings into the neonatal deaths of children in G B Pant Hospital with me today. Based on his preliminary findings, it is revealed that there has been lack of necessary equipment, staff and coordination at the administrative level in the hospital.”

The government ordered the immediate attachment of the hospital’s medical superintendent with the Srinagar Medical College till the one-man enquiry completed its probe.

The officer confirmed that there had been 68 children’s deaths in the hospital in January, 66 in February, 105 in March, 85 in April and 44 up to May 15.

Media reports had raised an alarm over the deaths of children in the hospital. The deaths were confirmed by minister for medical education R S Chib.

Earlier in the day, dozens of people, led by independent legislator from Langate Sheikh Rashid, demonstrated outside the hospital and raised slogans against the administration for its alleged failure to provide adequate healthcare to the people.

The authorities ordered a probe into the deaths on Wednesday after the number of infants dying in two weeks reached 35.

“It is a grave concern for all of us that over 350 infants have died over the past five months at the hospital. It demonstrates negligence on the part of doctors and the government,” Rashid said demanding immediate measures to provide best healthcare facilities to the patients.

He asked the government to initiate “stern action” against the doctors for negligence of duties. “Either close this hospital or ensure better treatment to the patients,” he said.

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