Kolkata: West Bengal ranked fourth after
Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu and Kerala in the infant mortality
rate, Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee said here on Thursday.
"IMR is 33 in West Bengal annually and the state
ranks fourth after Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu and Kerala,"
Banerjee, who also holds the health portfolio, told reporters.
She said that 40,000 children on an average died in
West Bengal annually.
Union Minister of state for Health Dinesh Trivedi said
that 140 children below one year died in a year in the state.
Trivedi said that 51,849 infants died in 2009 and no
figures were available from the previous Left Front
government since then.
Referring to the 12 crib deaths at state-run B C Roy
Children`s Hospital, Banerjee said of these, seven were
referred by nursing homes and one from a reputed heart care
institute. "Two babies had heart trouble."
To a question, the chief minister said that the
hospitals should never refuse a patient.
Banerjee said her government would ensure that more
children`s hospitals and women`s hospitals be set up.
Some speciality hospitals for heart, liver and kidney
treatment were to be set up in the state, she added.
The chief minister urged NGOs to come forward to
help improve the health infrastructure in the state.