Infant deaths shameful, says health minister | chandigarh | Hindustan Times
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Infant deaths shameful, says health minister

chandigarh Updated: May 20, 2012 22:59 IST
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A day after describing the deaths at the GB Pant Hospital as "shameful", Union health minister Ghulam Nabi Azad on Sunday visited the hospital and announced a number of measures.

"The children will get free medicines and diagnostic facilities, besides meals to the attendants for one month during hospitalisation under a scheme already in vogue in the country," said Azad.

The health minister said two 200-bed hospitals, one each in Jammu and Srinagar, were coming up and the first installment of funds had been released for this by the Centre.

The death toll among children, mainly infants, since January this year has crossed 360, with two deaths reported on Saturday. At least 34 infants died in May.

Azad blamed the present government for its failure to come up with a hospital despite the release of funds by the Centre.

"When I was CM (from 2005-08) of the state, I earmarked 50 kanals (7 acres) for a 350-bed children's hospital. Two years ago as Union health minister, I released R65 crore for it," said Azad, whose party is in coalition with the ruling NC in the state.