Chandigarh: 35 newborn have died at Ludhiana civil hospital since April this year because of different reasons, Punjab government told state Assembly today, drawing sharp reactions from the opposition benches on the last day of the Winter Session here.
During the Question Hour, Congress MLA from Ludhiana, Surinder Kumar Dawar, asked the state health minister about the total number of deaths of newborn babies in Ludhiana civil hospital since April 1, 2014.
Answering the query, Health and Family Welfare minister Surjeet Kumar Jyani said, "35 newborn deaths have occurred in civil hospital Ludhiana since April 1, 2014."
The maximum death of infants took place in the month of November, which were 10, while nine died in October, according to the reply.
Notably, death of five kids was reported in the month of November, forcing the Punjab government to set up a high-level probe in the matter.
Five new-borns had died during the time of delivery at the civil hospital, which the families alleged were carried out by "class IV employees in the absence of gynaecologists".
Asked about action taken against "guilty" officials for the death of five kids in November, the Health minister said that action was taken against five employees including three doctors.
Giving the reason behind the neonatal deaths, the minister said,"13 deaths took place due to prematurity, nine were due to respiratory distress syndrome, six due to meconium aspiration and five died due to birth asphyxia. Two kids died because of unknown reasons."
However, Congress MLA Dawar claimed that 68 newborn deaths took place in the last six months and blamed the "poor infrastructure" at the hospital for it.
Dawar demanded a probe into the death of five kids by a High Court judge.
Independent MLA Simarjit Singh Bains blamed the state government for not providing "sufficient staff" at government hospital which led to death of kids.