Mandi Bahauddin

The inquiry inducted into the deaths of 20 children during the past one month at Govt Children Hospital passed the buck and blamed the private hospital for the death.

It is to be noted that the media reports had blamed negligence of medical staff and lack of medical facilities in the hospital for the death.

Taking notice of the alarming situation, Gujranwala Division Director Health Dr Pervaiz Tarar ordered constituted doctors team with DHQ Hospital’s MS Dr Arshad as its head to ascertain cause of death infants who died in the Children Hospital. The inquiry report with its finding was presented in a meeting held with DCO Muzaffar Sial at his office. The meeting was attended by the EDO Health, DHO and other medical officers.

On the occasion, the MS presented the inquiry report and briefed the participants about its findings. According to the report, 20 infants died in the hospital including 19 of them under 24-hour of age. The report said that all these infants were referred to Children Hospital by private hospitals from all over the district in critical condition.

The MS informed that after admission these kids were given best possible treatment to save their life but they could not recover.

He claimed that during the inquiry all medical documents and treatment charts of the deceased kids were examined and found correct as they were given proper prescription.

To a question, he estimated that main cause of death among children under age of five was preterm birth and related complications. About admission, he said that about 300 children were brought to the hospital on monthly basis of which 7 percent die, adding that this pattern was prevalent in other districts as well.

About doctors, the MS said their authorized strength was completed, however, the post of Children Specialist was vacant. All necessary equipment including oxygen and incubators are available. However he complained that operators for these machines were not posted or recruited as yet since there was government ban on fresh enrolment.

Meanwhile a reliable source informed that the performance of private hospitals was very poor as lack capacity to deliver. He claimed that delivery cases were mishandled and the doctors in order to make money immorally recommend delivery with operation. As a result premature births were the main cause of death of newborn, he pointed out.

A senior medical officer, seeking anonymity, told this scribe that to regulate health facilities was the responsibility of district government headed by DCO. But the district government has not been paying proper attention to this aspect. As result irregularities and illegal practices continue in private hospitals resulting in death of persons belonging to all ages, especially women,” he detailed.

A members of civil society disclosed that in private hospitals even newborn boys were exchanged with girls by medical staff for taking heavy reward from the person wishing for a male child. He said that there was urgent need for new legislation to exercise control over private hospitals.