Top health officers defend hospitals

With raining criticisms of the pathetic state of affairs in the healthcare system of the state,top health department officials on Sunday made a desperate bid to dismiss the charges against two Kolkata-based state-run hospitals that had allegedly denied admission to a pregnant women leading to her death on early Friday morning after delivering two babies on the pavement.

Written by Express News Service | Kolkata | Published:January 16, 2012 4:55 am

With raining criticisms of the pathetic state of affairs in the healthcare system of the state,top health department officials on Sunday made a desperate bid to dismiss the charges against two Kolkata-based state-run hospitals that had allegedly denied admission to a pregnant women leading to her death on early Friday morning after delivering two babies on the pavement.

The health department officials refused to take responsibility of another incident in which a newborn was stolen at another Kolkata-based state-run healthcare facility on Friday.

“Usha Devi died at her home and there is no question of denying admission (to the hospitals) as it is a crime. After the incident was reported in the media,we appointed two officials to probe it. They found that Usha died at her home due to extensive bleeding. Her daughter gave a statement saying she saw her mother’s death with her own eyes. A doctor at SSKM Hospital declared her dead a day later when she was taken there,”said Biswaranjan Satpati,Director (Health Services).

“The inquiry has revealed that Usha died after giving birth to the second baby,” he added and put the blame on Usha’s husband for not taking her to hospital with labour pain. “Usha was dead when she was brought to the hospital first. But her husband had refused to hand over the body to us initially. A day later he took the body to SSKM Hospital,” the officials said.

The inquiry team members,health department officials said,have recorded the statements of the doctors who were at the emergency wards in the two hospitals and nursing staff and the medical superintendents. They also checked the hospital records but did not find Usha’s name there. The officials said the report they have received is preliminary and not the final one. “If final report reveals that the patient was denied admission,we would take action against those responsible,” Satpati said.

Usha (40),a pavement dweller,died after giving birth to a twin baby on the pavement after Chittaranjan Sishu Seva Sadan and Sambhunath Pundit Hospital allegedly refused her admission.

On the second incident in which an unidentified woman,clad in burqa,walked into the Chittaranjan National Medical College and Hospital (CNMCH) and decamped with a newborn, Director of Medical Education Sushanta Banerjee said the baby’s mother had allowed “a stranger” to take care of the baby and there was no fault on the hospital’s part. “It is not possible to provide full-proof security to all because of heavy rush of patients’ relatives in the state-run healthcare facilities during visiting hours. Hundreds of people rush in to meet their patients during visiting hours. Is it possible to conduct physical search of all?” Banerjee asked. He even said that a “dispute in the family” could be the reason behind the incident.

“Otherwise how a mother could allow a stranger to handle her baby. We give green cards to patients and ask them to give them to their relatives during their hospital visits. In this case green card was given to the baby’s mother. She gave it to a stranger,” he added.

The baby was recovered late Sunday by the police.

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