In the aftermath of the stir over the Kota infant deaths, disturbing reports of 146 infant deaths in December in Jodhpur hospital surfaced. Taking cognisance of the Public Interest Litigation (PIL) filed on the infant deaths of Jodhpur hospital, the Rajasthan High Court has sought a report from the government. The HC has also given direct instructions to all districts including Kota to improve the conditions of the hospitals.
High Court Chief Justice Inderjit Mahanti has directed the administration to computerize the district hospitals, a surprise inspection of any two hospitals of the State to be conducted and sought report of all vacant posts and sanctioned posts in government hospitals.
The matter is scheduled for the next hearing on February 10. 146 infant deaths have been reported in December from Dr Sampurnanand Medical College in the Jodhpur district. The hospital administration has maintained that the number of infant deaths is much lower as compared to the number of infant cases admitted to the hospital and added that many serious cases from hospitals of other cities are referred to the Jodhpur hospital.
"We are the biggest hospital in western Rajasthan. We even get infants and other patients who are referred from AIIMS, Jodhpur. 4,689 admissions of infants were done in the month of December alone, out of which 146 died. Therefore, the mortality rate is just 3 percent which comes under acceptable norms," said Dr SS Rathore, Principal of the SN Medical College.
"The number of deaths might seem high but one should also see that the number of admissions is quite high at our hospital. Also, there were different reasons behind the death of infants that have occurred in the hospital," he added.
Infant deaths have become a serious concern after the reports of over 100 infant deaths in Kota's JK Lon Hospital came to light and created a stir across the nation. Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot's insensitive statement of 'nothing new about someone dying in every hospital' had not gone down well with the people. The Deputy Chief Minister Sachin Pilot in a face-saving mode had claimed responsibility and said that the government's approach should have been more compassionate.