January 4, 2020 5:37:02 am
Two Rajasthan ministers visited Kota’s J K Lon Hospital on Friday, where over 100 children have died over the past month, and conducted an inspection.
Health Minister Raghu Sharma told The Indian Express that there was no clinical negligence behind the deaths, “but there have been cases of administrative negligence for which action will be taken against those responsible”.
He also blamed the previous BJP government for not developing the infrastructure of the hospital. “They were there in power for five years. The financial approval of 60 beds, which the previous Congress government had given in 2012, where did that go? Had there been 60 beds, our bed strength would have been 102 and there wouldn’t have been a need to put two children on one bed,” said Sharma.
“In 2017, the medical administration here had sent a requirement of 300 beds to the then government. But no approval was granted. In 2015, Rs 8 crore was asked to make this hospital well-equipped, but again no approval was given. In 2016, this hospital had asked for Rs. 9.25 crore but they didn’t get a single penny. In 2017, Rs 20 crore was asked, but approval for that too was not granted,” added Sharma.
Transport Minister Pratap Singh Khachariyawas, who accompanied Sharma, said the people responsible for negligence “won’t be spared”.
“The deaths are a very serious issue because of which all of us are in grief. From the very first day our thoughts are clear; that the deaths of children should stop and strict action should be taken against anybody responsible. We held a meeting today and it is clear that there is no fund crunch as they have more than Rs 6 crore. We have clearly said that if any equipment was damaged, it was your (hospital administration) responsibility to buy new ones,” said Khachariyawas, who is also minister-in-charge of Kota.
Sharma added that by January 15, a centralised oxygen system will be put in place and the equipment will be updated.
Prior to the visit of the ministers, the hospital staff expedited repair work and maintenance which had been due for months. A carpet had also been rolled out in front of the hospital entrance but was later removed after it was filmed.
Meanwhile, the opposition BJP slammed the Congress government in the state for failing to tackle the situation.
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