Dengue sting, deaths spur Delhi govt into action

  • HT Correspondent, Hindustan Times, New Delhi
  • Updated: Sep 16, 2015 01:55 IST
A view of the emergency ward at Safdarjung Hospital, New Delhi, which has been receiving a large number of dengue cases.(Saumya Khandelwal/HT)

The Delhi government on Tuesday threatened strict action against hospitals that refuse to admit dengue patients. A cabinet meeting was convened on Tuesday during which the need for ensuring accountability of private hospitals and introducing an effective system of patient care was discussed.

The cabinet discussed convening a special session of the Delhi assembly to deal with the negligence of private hospitals.

Delhi has been battling its worst dengue crisis in five years, with 1,872 officially confirmed cases and five deaths. The unconfirmed dengue toll stands at 11.

The worst outbreak was in 2010, when the vector-borne disease killed eight and affected 6,259 people.

A seven-year-old had succumbed to the disease after being allegedly turned away from five hospitals for want of beds.

The parents of the deceased kid, Abhinash Rout, had later jumped from the roof of a building in Lado Sarai and killed themselves.

Deputy chief minister Manish Sisodia on Tuesday ordered a magisterial inquiry in the September 8 death and instructed the divisional commissioner to conduct a probe and submit a report to the government within seven days. The government had earlier served show-cause notices to five hospitals on Saturday.

Union health minister JP Nadda, in view of the rising number of cases, has directed all central government hospitals to increase their bed strength, and if necessary, to accommodate all suspected dengue cases.

Nadda’s announcement comes after the Delhi government promised to add 1,000 new beds across all hospitals and the North Delhi Municipal Corporation announced an additional 125 beds in Bara Hindu Rao Hospital and Kasturba Hospital.

Delhi health minister Satyendar Jain also conducted a surprise visit to five Delhi government hospitals — Lok Nayak, Aruna Asaf Ali, Guru Teg Bahadur, Hedgewar and Acharya Bhikshu — on Tuesday, with chief minister Arvind Kejriwal accompanying him to two hospitals.

The health minister in a meeting with representatives of private hospitals and nursing homes later asked them to increase the number of beds for dengue patients. He also assured them that the government will relax norms for bed spacing till November 15.

Keeping the shortage of staff in mind, the state government also cancelled the leaves of all doctors and staff till October 10.

The Municipal Corporation of Delhi too organised an anti-dengue drive in Narela zone, which is one of the worst hit areas of Delhi.

Read: Kejriwal conducts surprise checks at Delhi hospitals

Delhi boy dies of dengue, father alleges hospital negligence

Dengue outbreak: 5 things that you must know about the disease

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