For over a decade now, the SSKM has not been sending any records of births to the Kolkata Municipal Corporation.
Therefore, a newborn at the state’s most prestigious medical centre is not recorded under the Registration of Birth and Death Act 1969.
According to KMC’s health department records, SSKM hospital authorities have stopped sending ‘birth event register’ to the civic headquarters after March 11, 2003, which means almost 10 years.
Hospital records say about 100 deliveries take place in every 72 hours, which amounts to 1.22 lakh newborns approximately in a 10-year span.
“We are fed up of making repeated attempts to get the ‘birth event register’ from SSKM. I had written to the hospital authorities a year ago but nothing happened,” a seemingly irritated Debashis Sen, special officer (health), told HT.
Due to such irresponsible behaviour of the hospital authorities, parents of the newborns are doling out hefty amounts and running from pillar to post to acquire a first class magistrate’s order to register their child’s birth under Special Registration Act.
KMC records say that the last time Sen had written to the SSKM hospital superintendent was in August 30, 2012 making an earnest request for sending the ‘birth event register’ to KMC. (HT is in possession of the letter.)
“Non-cooperation of the SSKM authorities are leading to huge public harassment and mental agony,” Tapan Kumar Mukherjee, chief municipal health officer (CMHO), said.
Once the hospital agrees to send the ‘birth event register’ to KMC, doctors attached with the issuance of birth and death certificates section at the municipal corporation, will have to register each of these 1.22 lakh newborns at SSKM hospital.
“Once we get the records, we have to register all the newborns. However, in the meantime, parents of these babies are also registering them under Special Registration Act mentioning the place of birth as SSKM. This would mean double registration for these children,” a senior doctor, on condition of anonymity, told HT.
Denying the allegations, superintendent of SSKM hospital Tamal Kanti Ghosh said, “KMC is lying. We have updated all our backlogs. I have joined SSKM just over a year ago and don’t remember of receiving any such letter.”