High infant death rate prevalent at J&K hospital

Nearly 900 babies died at the GB Pant Hospital last year.

Updated: May 20, 2012, 16:03 PM IST

Srinagar: The Ministry of Medical Education, which governs the GB Pant Hospital here, seems to have apparently overlooked the issue of high infant mortality rate as nearly 900 babies died at the health-care facility, last year.

The negligence at bureaucratic and government levels is obvious from the fact that statistics from all the hospitals falling under Medical Education department are conveyed to the Principal Government Medical College, Commissioner-Secretary and the Minister concerned on quarterly basis, official sources said.

As per the data sent to Principal Government Medical College here, 895 deaths were reported last year. This year the number of deaths stands at 363 so far.

The average deaths per day at the hospital is almost same for 2011 and 2012 -? 2.45 and 2.42, respectively.

Interestingly, the data also reveals that the number of deaths during corresponding months of the two years were similar. For example, 104 deaths took place at the hospital in March last year while the toll in the corresponding month this year was 105.

Similarly, 66 children died in January this year compared to 77 in the same month last year. While 93 deaths took place last April, the figure this year was 85 in the same month.

It was only after media highlighted the issue that the government swung into action and made some changes at administration level to improve the functioning of the hospital.

Senior doctors at the hospital, however, maintain that mere administrative changes cannot work wonders.

"We are short on staff here, short on life saving equipment and there is huge rush of patients. It is not humanly possible that every patient can be attended as well as ought to be," said a senior doctor on the condition of anonymity.