Negligence of doctors, coupled with power cut, allegedly claimed the lives of at least three newborns at the Balaghat district hospital on Sunday night.
Three other infants also reportedly died after their pregnant mothers were moved to a private medical establishment after the blackout.
Health department sources in Balaghat said a caesarian operation couldn’t be performed on time due to the power cut, resulting in a woman — Dharamwati Uike — bearing a stillborn child. Similarly, two other babies who were delivered on Sunday died in the sick newborn care unit (SNCU). The infants reportedly died due to negligence of doctors.
According to sources, there were no medical experts on the scene to attend to the babies. Dileep Patle, the father of one of the deceased infants, said: “We kept telling hospital staffers that the baby seemed restless in the SNCU, but nobody paid attention. In the morning, they told me that my child had died.”
Local activist Jugal Sharma claimed that three women, who had been shifted to a private hospital, also delivered stillborns. “However, their families are not coming forward to lodge a complaint,” he added.
According to sources, not a single doctor attended to Dharamwati while she was crying in pain after the electricity supply snapped — plunging the hospital into darkness. “We kept asking the hospital authorities for help, but they just ignored us. They are responsible for the death of my infant,” claimed Bal Uike, Dharamwati’s husband.
Later, relatives of the deceased held a protest in the hospital premises. Congress activists also held a demonstration.
However, chief medical and health officer KK Khosla dismissed the reports of negligence as rumours. “Two babies died in the SNCU not because of a power cut, but ill-health. Balaghat hospital has the best gynaecology department in these parts,” he said.