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Maharashtra: After Oppn raises issue, govt suspends medical officer, announces probe

Terming the incident serious and unfortunate, Urban Development Minister Eknath Shinde said, “The concerned medical officer will be suspended and a high-level inquiry will be conducted into it.” Shinde said nobody will be spared in the inquiry.

By: Express News Service | Mumbai |
Updated: December 23, 2021 10:48:23 pm
BJP leader and former Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis. (Express Photo By Ganesh Shirsekar)

After the Opposition raised the issue of deaths of four infants in a BMC-run hospital in the last four days, the Maharashtra government on Thursday announced suspension of a medical officer and a high-level inquiry into the matter.

Terming the incident serious and unfortunate, Urban Development Minister Eknath Shinde said, “The concerned medical officer will be suspended and a high-level inquiry will be conducted into it.” Shinde said nobody will be spared in the inquiry.

Devendra Fadnavis, Leader of the Opposition, raised the issue of deaths of four infants in the last four days in the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) in the BMC-run Savitribai Phule Maternity Hospital in Bhandup.

“The death of four infants is murder. The medical officer of the hospital and additional municipal commissioner of BMC in charge of health should be suspended,” said Fadnavis. He pointed out similar issues with BMC-run hospitals.

“Despite the fixed deposits of Rs 50,000 crore of the BMC in banks, there is huge corruption in the BMC and such incidents are happening in civic body-run hospitals in the city,” he alleged.

According to BMC officials, the four infants died due to ‘septic shock infection’.

The death triggered a protest by BJP corporators. After the issue was raised in the Assembly by Fadnavis, all BJP corporators held a protest outside the corporation hall in BMC headquarters in CSMT. BJP group leader and corporator Prabhakar Shinde said the deaths were clearly due to negligence of the hospital administration.

“The NICU is being handled by a private agency. Despite a budget of Rs 4,000 crore for the health department, cases of negligence by civic hospitals are on the rise,” said Shinde.

A meeting of the public health committee was adjourned following the incident.

Meanwhile, public health committee chairperson Rajul Patel faced flak after a video went viral purportedly showing her having a verbal spat with relatives of victims who were protesting near Bhandup hospital. “Did you ask me when you were admitting your child in the hospital? Then what responsibility should we take? This is not right,” Patel purportedly says in the video. “The BMC is there to take the responsibility.”

The BJP criticized her for “insensitive” remarks.

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