Kota child deaths: Health Ministry sends a team of experts to Rajasthan hospital

Our Bureau | Updated on: Jan 02, 2020

Health Minister Harsh Vardhan | Photo Credit: Manvender Vashist

After news broke of over 940 children dying in a year at JK Lon Hospital in Kota, Rajasthan, the Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare (MoHFW) has dispatched a multi-disciplinary expert team including top paediatricians to study the situation and take action.

Health Minister Harsh Vardhan in a press statement informed that he had spoken to Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot and assured all possible support to prevent further deaths in Kota. “The high level team being despatched by the ministry includes experts from the All India Institute of Medical Sciences, Jodhpur, Health Finance and Regional Director, Health Services from Jaipur, which will reach Kota on Friday,” said Harsh Vardhan.

Harsh Vardhan also informed Gehlot that ₹91.7 lakh has already been advanced to JK Lon Hospital during 2019-20 under the National Health Mission. Kota district alone has an annual allocation of ₹27.45 crore for 2019-20, from the annual budgeted amount ₹1,788.97 crore for Rajasthan. It is yet not clear, how much the State has used from the NHM allocation for upgrading infrastructure in the hospitals.

Harsh Vardhan has further said that Gehlot can go ahead and propose further financial assistance in the upcoming NHM meeting after gap analysis by the team.

National Commission for Protection of Child Rights (NCPCR) in its fact finding report observed that only nine of 15 ventilators in the hospital were working and the hospital did not have faculty as per norms. NCPCR has issued a summons to BS Tanwar, Chief Medical Officer of Kota to appear in person before the commission on Friday to present data on anaemic pregnant women, underweight children, action initiated against negligent authority and preventive measures undertaken to avoid such incidents in future.

Also, a showcause notice has been sent to Vaibhav Galariya, Secretary in Medical Education Department of Rajasthan to furnish action taken report. NCPCR has also recommended that MoHFW to conduct a parallel fact-finding inquiry in the matter.

Published on January 02, 2020
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