At least 60 children have died in public hospitals in northern India, officials say. In allegations that oxygen supply was reduced on unpaid invoices.
Uttar Pradesh officials admitted that the supply had been cut off, but said it did not cause death.
According to local media, relatives panicked at the hospital trying to support staff with a manual breathing bag.
Most victims were in the neonatal ward or were being treated for encephalitis.
The death occurred at Baba Raghav Das Hospital in the Gorakhpur district for five days starting Monday. According to the hospital, 30 of the deaths were recorded between Thursday and Friday.
District official Anil Kumar admitted that the supplier had “payment problems”, but death could have been caused by “natural” causes as many patients were hospitalized in “serious” conditions. He said he had sex.
The region is one of the poorest regions in India, recording hundreds of children’s deaths each year from illnesses such as encephalitis.
“We will get more liquid oxygen cylinders tonight or tomorrow, and we have also liquidated the supplier’s membership fees,” Kumar said.
Health Minister Siddart Nas Singh also said that the average number of deaths per day in August at the hospital was 19-22 in the last three years, and that children died due to lack of oxygen. Refused. It was not clear if this was only relevant for the children’s case.
“There was no lack of oxygen in the hospital. For two hours, there was a shortage of emergency cylinders on which CPR was performed,” he said.
The uncle of an 11-year-old girl who died in the hospital told ABP’s news channel: 3. We kept doing that for a while. ”
The hospital said in a statement that “the pressure of the liquid oxygen supply had dropped” and that a spare cylinder was placed, but whether it died and why so many children died in just two days. I didn’t say if I did.
The incident caused anger in India, which some have described as a slaughter, reports Sanjoy Majumder of the BBC in New Delhi.
Opposition leaders have been criticized for trying to politicize the issue of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s condemnation of the Bharatiya Janata Party.
State officials said the investigation had begun, and Mr. Modi’s office said on Twitter that he was constantly monitoring the situation.
Can training ‘fake doctors’ improve India’s healthcare?
Unqualified health care workers, commonly known as quackery, are routinely arrested in India for pretending to be doctors. But charities are now trying to train them in primary care. Atish Patel explains why.
Sanjoy Mondal opened a small clinic in eastern India 15 years ago with just a desk and a few plastic chairs, after a short mission to assist doctors working in public hospitals.
Although Mr. Mondal has never studied medicine, he says he performed countless minor surgeries and prescribed medications for hundreds of patients in a muddy house village in West Bengal.
Today, a 40-year-old patient is one of thousands who have been taught the basics of front-line care by a non-governmental organization that wants to be self-taught and not harm the patient.
“I now understand what is a safe drug and what is an unsafe drug,” says Mondal.
The Liver Foundation, a Kolkata-based charity that provides training, criticizes most Indian healthcare institutions because they consider unqualified practitioners to be a headache for the national health system. It states that.
In recent weeks, authorities have begun cracking down on the deaths of several children in southern Tamil Nadu after seeking treatment from unqualified health care workers.
“They are fooling the general public,” said Anil Bansal, a former head of the quackery prevention department of the Delhi Medical Council, which registers and supervises doctors in the Indian capital, violating the law. ..
However, Liver Foundation founder Abhijit Chowdley believes that India faces a chronic shortage of qualified physicians and medical staff and should take advantage of them.
A new study published last week in Science evaluated the effectiveness of the Foundation’s training programs.
The Indian Healthcare Federation says the country lacks nearly 2 million doctors and 4 million nurses. This is most noticeable in rural strips, where it is estimated that more than 60% of primary care visits by villagers are paid visits to unqualified practitioners like Mr. Mondal.
In the village of Bamba Taspur, where he works, villagers say they rely on him because a free primary health center a few kilometers away is open only a few hours a week due to lack of staff. Mondal says he has treated locals with common illnesses such as high blood pressure, diarrhea and anemia.
Sanghamitra Ghosh, secretary of the West Bengal Health and Family Welfare Department, admits that it is difficult to have doctors in remote areas, and unqualified health care workers fill the gap in the “heavy health system.” I have. ”
In West Bengal, where about 90 million people live, more than 100,000 unregistered freelancers practice medical care on their own. There are an estimated 1 million people across India. This means that there are more fake doctors than real doctors.