Gorakhpur hospital deaths: Central team finds BRD Medical College ‘overcrowded’
At least 30 children died in the government-run Baba Raghav Das Medical College amid allegations that a private contractor stopped supplying oxygenindia Updated: Aug 12, 2017 23:30 IST
A health ministry team that reached Gorakhpur on Saturday to assess the situation after about 30 children died in a government hospital since Thursday, found the institution was “overcrowded.”
Most deaths were reported from the neonatal and encephalitis wards of the Gorakhpur’s Baba Raghav Das Medical College amid allegations that a private contractor stopped supplying oxygen.
“It is a fact that the hospital is overcrowded and the number of patients it caters to is far more than what it can manage,” said health secretary CK Mishra.
Acute encephalitis syndrome (AES) is common in the region that infects and kills hundreds annually.
As for the cause of death in the hospital, Mishra said they were awaiting inquiry report from the state government.
“We were not rushed here to conduct any inquiry as the state government is already doing that. We are here to assist them in handling the situation. Let the state submit its report, until then we should not jump to conclusions,” said Mishra.
Mishra along with minister of state (health) Anupriya Patel was part of the team that Central government rushed to Gorakhpur to take stock of the ground situation.
The hospital sees a high number of deaths every year, which the team says is a cause for concern and that it will try to address it.
“Since the patient intake is very high in this hospital, it usually sees many deaths. It is a matter of concern for us, so we are waiting for our central team of technical experts that is arriving on Sunday to prepare a blueprint for future,” said Mishra.
The Uttar Pradesh government denied the deaths were caused due to shortage of oxygen, claiming alternative arrangements for oxygen supply were made.
The patients died of “various medical reasons and illnesses,” it said.
State health minister Siddharth Nath Singh said oxygen supply was disrupted at the hospital for two hours on Thursday night but ruled it out as the reason for the tragedy.
Chief minister Yogi Adityanath, who represented the eastern UP city in Parliament for decades, ordered an investigation by the state chief secretary into the role of the hospital’s sole oxygen vendor who cut off supplies over dues.
The state government also suspended the principal of the medical college.