18 babies die at govt hospital in Bengal

Kolkata, June 30: Seventeen babies died at BC Roy Pediatric Hospital in Kolkata in the last 36 hours, triggering protests by locals and relatives who alleged negligence by doctors even as the West Bengal government ordered an inquiry.

“I admitted my child at 11 pm and at 2:30 am they asked me to buy an injection. I ran around for the medicine since all shops were closed. And when I got the medicine, they administered it only at 8 in the morning but it was too late,” Hannan Gazi, Father of Deceased Infant Paradub said.

The hospital staff is also being accused of non-cooperation and indecent behaviour.

Doctor Dilip Kr Pal, Superintendent, BC Roy Pediatric Hospital said, “They are complaining about some erratic behaviour from our staff. They are not complaining about our negligence. Everyone is getting injections, treatment and other support.”

This is the only state-run hospital in Kolkata which provides tertiary care facilities in pediatrics and handles a large number of patients but after this incident relatives of patients are considering other options.

Tanushree, Mother of Patient Paradub said, “Today after seeing all this, I consulted my husband and we have decided to get my child admitted to some other hospital.”

The Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee has ordered an inquiry.

West Bengal Mamata Banerjee Chief Minister said, “I want a report within 24 hours. And if any negligence is found on part of anybody, whatever his rank, he will not be spared.”

Allegations of medical neglect following infant deaths at this hospital aren’t new. But for Mamata Banerjee who’s also the health minister of the state, the challenge lies in lot only improving infrastructure at the state run hospitals but also in developing the right work culture among a significant section of government-employed health workers.