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Newborn baby dies after two government hospitals decline treatment

A newborn baby who was one-day old died of respiratory problems on Monday after two government hospitals declined treatment when his parents approached.

According to PTI, the relatives of the parents said that on Sunday noon, the baby was born at a private hospital in Budh Vihar area of Delhi. Soon after the delivery, the doctors notified the baby’s parents of their child’s respiratory problems and the necessity to keep him under ventilation for 48 hours (2 days).

However, most of those 48 hours went from hovering to one hospital to another.

Bhuvnesh Kumar, a relative of the child’s father, Dheeraj Kumar – a labourer by profession, said that owing to the latter’s lack of affordability after spending Rs. 30,000 in a private hospital he couldn’t have afforded to spend an additional Rs. 10,000 for the ventilator.

Immunization of children in doctors office

Photo Credits: James Gathany, Judy Schmidt, USCDCP

Following that, Dheeraj Kumar and his wife rang up 102 number and summoned a CATS ambulance with the plan of shifting their baby to a government hospital. They first took him to Kalawati Saran Children’s Hospital and then to Ram Manohar Lohia Hospital.

However, both the hospitals turned down any help mentioning lack of bed and ventilators as the reason.

They finally took the baby to Lok Nayak Jai Prakash Narayan Hospital (LNJP). The father said that even they turned down help initially citing the absence of portable oxygen cylinder, but after “repeated requests” when the doctors attempted to carry the baby to move him to the emergency ward, he was declared dead.

The Union Health Ministry has asked for a report from the two hospitals – Kalawati Saran Children’s Hospital and Ram Manohar Lohia Hospital, for declining treatment to the one-day old baby.

As per the order of the Union Health Ministry, RML hospital has formed a three-member committee consisting of a couple of doctors from the Paediatric department and its Deputy Labour Welfare Commissioner to investigate the matter. A statement is most possible to be presented in a day or two.

A senior doctor of RML said that on Tuesday, Dr. AK Gadpayle who is the Medical Superintendent (MS) of the hospital called the head of Paediatric department and the senior doctor as well – who was on duty at 12.10 pm yesterday when the incident occurred, to see into the matter.

He added that the in-chargers of Casualty and Emergency wards have also been inquired of by the MS in this context.

Delhi Health Minister, Satyendar Jain of Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) started a blame game, responding to the newborn’s death. He said that Kalawati and RML hospitals that have come under radar due to turning down help “come under central government.”

He added that LNJP doctors “immediately started the treatment” in the emergency ward only, but it was unfortunate that the baby couldn’t be saved. “LNJP hospital does not refuse to admit patients,” he stressed.

LNJP comes under Delhi government and Jain happens to be the President of it.

As per Unicef, in 2008 India for the first time with 9.7 million under-five deaths, recorded a figure below 10 million since the introduction of keeping records commenced in 1960.

Counting from now, although India has seen impressive declines in the infant deaths over the past 20 years, Unicef believes in the current speed it’s moving, the country will fail to achieve the Millennium Development Goal (MDG) 4 that aspires to decrease Under-Five Mortality (U5MR) by two thirds between 1990-2015.

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