Gehlot underplays children's deaths in Kota hospital
Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot on Saturday underplayed the death of children in Kota's J.K. Lon hospital where at least 77 children have died this month apparently due to lack of facilities and non-functioning equipment, saying "minimum deaths were reported in this hospital in 2019 in the last six years".
Ten children died on Monday and Tuesday in the hospital. The Chief Minister, however, said this year, in terms of statistics, minimum deaths have been reported.
"The kids' deaths is a sad issue and quite unfortunate, but there were times when as many as 1,500 deaths were reported in this hospital. But this year, only 900 deaths were reported. But why these 900 deaths? In fact, there should not be a single death happening in hospitals," said Gehlot.
"In all states, and in all hospitals 4, 5, or 6 deaths are being reported daily. It also happens in Jaipur. However, I have got investigation done and we are drafting a mechanism to take action too on what should be the punishment against the guilty... we are making provisions against it as well," he said.
"We will think of bringing down mortality rate of kids under Nirogi Rajasthan campaign too. IMR and MMR have come down in Rajasthan and we will work to ensure neither mother nor kid dies," he said.
Meanwhile, BJP state president Satish Poonia, after visiting JK Lon Hospital on Saturday, said he will request the Governor to look into the matter as he saw "grave negligence on the part of the state government".
Accusing the Gehlot government of apathy and negligence, he said: "There is a shortage of life saving equipment in this hospital. Ventillators, nebulisers and warmers are not in adequate number and hygiene is another major issue."
"There is no cleanliness in hospital due to which chances of infection are high," he said.
"At a time when the temperature has dipped, complaints about faulty equipment in the hospital raise questions about government's efficiency."
He also wondered why Rajasthan Health Minister Raghu Sharma has not visited the hospital.
Reacting to the suspension of the hospital superintendent, Poonia said "removal of an official won't bring back the lives of kids".
"The state government was informed of the problems in hospital, but no action was taken," he said.
Meanwhile, Lok Sabha Speaker Om Birla in his Twitter handle also urged the government to look into the issues.
"The untimely death of ten infants in 48 hours in J.K. Lon Mother and Child Hospital in my Lok Sabha constituency is a matter of grave concern. The Rajasthan government is ought to act sensitively and promptly in the matter," Birla said on his Twitter handle on Friday.IANS