Omar promises changes at childrens' hospital

Omar promises changes at childrens' hospital

Amid reports of over 350 of infant deaths in the last four months at Kashmir’s lone paediatric hospital due to alleged negligence and inadequate facilities, chief minister Omar Abdullah on Friday inspected various units of GB Pant Children’s Hospital during a surprise visit.

Omar told reporters that  the situation at the hospital was grave. “There is scope for improvement in the functioning and maintenance of the hospital,” he said.

The chief minister claimed the government has taken measures regarding administration, staff, equipment, sanitation, hygiene and other aspects relating to improvement in the functioning of the hospital.

“Director S K Institute of Medical Sciences would regularly monitor the hospital,” he said and added measures initiated would show visible improvement in the functioning of the hospital within a week’s time.

After more than 350 infant deaths at the Hospital, the state government had on Thursday acknowledged that the institute was reeling under ‘shortage of capacity on all fronts,’ a cause for the rising fatalities.

Facing criticism, the government late last evening removed  the hospital’s medical superintendent for ‘casual administrative response’ to the situation.

Lack of ventilators

The government also accorded ‘blanket approval’ for purchase of the life saving ventilators and monitors. The hospital has at present only six ventilators.

Official sources reveal there had been 68 infant deaths in the hospital in January, 66 in February, 105 in March, 85 in April and 44 up to May 15 this year.

The hospital is the only referral tertiary paediatric facility in Kashmir, drawing patients from all parts of the Valley and Jammu.

Sources said the hospital has 170 beds but the actual number of patients is up to three times the figure.

“Sometimes three or four babies occupy a single bed an get infected from each other,” they said.

A senior doctor said the Government Medical College Srinagar had submitted a detailed report to the government about need for construction of 400-bed children hospital in 2010.

“The hospital (GB Pant) has already crossed the limits to handle load of patients and number of referrals and hence setting up a full-fledged tertiary care hospital has become imperative,” the report had cautioned the government.

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