THE GUJARAT Adani Institute of Medical Sciences (GAIMS) in Bhuj of Kutch district on Tuesday claimed that a state government-appointed committee to probe 111 deaths of infants at its hospital had given a “clean chit” to the institute even as the committee refused to comment on the matter.
The state government had set up a three-member inquiry committee last week after media reports claimed that 111 infants had died at the GAIMS hospital (earlier known as GK General Hospital) in Bhuj since January this year. The committee had Dr Bhadresh Vyas, head of paediatrics department at MP Shah Government Medical College, Jamnagar; Dr Himanshu Joshi, head of paediatrics department at Gujarat Medical Education and Research Society-run Medical College and Hospital, Gandhinagar and Dr Kamal Goswami, associate professor with obstetrics and gynecology department of Pandit Deendayal Upadhyay Medical College, Rajkot, as its members. The committee had visited GAIMS hospital on Saturday and submitted its report to the state health department on Monday.
GAIMS issued a press release on Tuesday and claimed that the three-member committee had given the hospital a clean chit. “The inquiry committee set up by the Gujarat government to look into the deaths of infants at GAIMS hospital has given a clean chit to the hospital administration on Tuesday. According to this report (of the committee), treatment given at hospital was in accordance with set protocols and guidelines… The committee has noted in its report that majority of patients had serious complications like neonatal sepsis, birth asphyxia, congenital malformation etc when they were admitted to the hospital. A significant number of these cases had been referred to the GAIMS hospital from other other hospitals,” stated the press release. GAIMS is jointly run by Adani Group and the Gujarat government on public private partnership mode.
“We are satisfied to note that the committee has vindicated our stance in its report. We shall continue working with the government and attract doctors to this hospital. Our long-term objective is to offer quality medical service to people living in rural parts of Kutch,” Dr Gyaneshwar Rao, medical director of the GAIMS hospital, was quoted as saying in the release. Dr Vyas confirmed to The Indian Express that the committee had submitted its report to the government but refused to comment on the findings of their inquiry.
Meanwhile, Dr Rao said their claim was based on a report the state government had forwarded to the hospital. “We received a report form the government enlisting findings of the inquiry committee and recommendations. Were there any deaths due to hospital’s issues was the point of everyone’s concern. They saw how patients were treated and checked matters like what was diagnosis done, when diagnosis reports arrived, what were the protocols followed, was the neonatal ICU equipped with ventilator and other equipment here and there, was there a system of check and recheck etc. And they concluded that we were following all these protocols. The basic thing which came out of the report is that the treatment had been done as per guidelines and protocols,” he told The Indian Express.
He said that the government had recommended that the staff in the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) should get training and that the hospital should have more doctors. “We have accepted these recommendations and shot a letter to the government requesting to organise training programmes for our staff. Moreover, six more resident doctors joined our hospital 10 days ago. This, we believe, will take care of the second recommendation,” said Dr Rao.
Jayanti Ravi, health commissioner of Gujarat, confirmed the “clean chit”. “Yes, they have said that there is no discrepancy in terms. They have also said that the babies who died were transported from longer distances. Most babies were out-born babies. They came with lower birth weight and this made them very fragile. In their general suggestion, they have also said that the capacity building should be done of the nurses and paramedical staff there which we feel a need of for all other hospitals in general (in the state) also. Because even if there is a child with very poor parameters, sometimes if they are really skilled, they can still try some way of salvaging the baby and somehow save the child,” she said.