Seven infants die in Andhra hospital, probe ordered


Health Minister D. Nagender ordered an enquiry into the incident that took place at Old Government Hospital in Vijayawada city. Seven infants died in the newborn babies ward at the hospital on Sunday. "We have deputed a team of doctors to probe the incident. If it is proved that the death was caused by the negligence by the hospital staff we will take action," the minister said here.

The parents alleged that the babies died due to faulty incubators, failure of the oxygen system and the negligence of the doctors. The hospital authorities initially claimed that the deaths were due to various ailments but later agreed to conduct an enquiry. After the parents of the babies staged a protest and local legislators also joined them, hospital superintendent H.B. Lal said they would look into the cause of the deaths. The babies who died were two to three-days-old. Their parents alleged that only four out of 11 incubators were functioning at the hospital.

Tension prevailed at the hospital as a large number of people rushed there to protest against the authorities. Some locals alleged that the incident was also the result of the ongoing strike by junior doctors. Demanding a hike in stipend, junior doctors in government-run hospitals are boycotting services. The opposition Telugu Desam Party legislator D. Umamaheswara Rao, who visited the hospital, demanded a compensation of Rs 500,000 to the family of each of the newborns who died at the hospital.

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