Infant death toll at Cuttack hospital reaches 35 in 7 days

Cuttack: With infant death toll reaching 35 in seven days in the state-run Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel Post Graduate Institute of Paediatrics, Odisha government today decided to rope in at least seven doctors from SCB Medical College to man the beleaguered paediatric hospital.

Five more deaths were recorded today in the hospital, popularly known as Shishu Bhawan, taking the toll to 35 during the past seven days, officials said.

"Doctors from SCB Medical College and Hospital would be on deputation to Shishu Bhawan until further orders and would be joining from tomorrow," Central division Revenue Divisional Commissioner (RDC), Bikash Mohapatra after a meeting in the paediatric hospital.

The meeting was attended among others by the district collector and members of a technical team, including experts from SCB Medical College and AIIMS, Bhubaneswar.

Against a sanctioned strength of 48 doctors, Shishu Bhawan has been manned by only 20 doctors for several years, officials said, adding the hospital is also facing an acute shortage of paramedics.

The biggest paediatrics hospital in eastern India, Shishu Bhawan is receiving more than 300 patients on an average daily at its OPD and nearly 50 of them are admitted in critical condition every day.

After the sudden surge in casualties last week and an outcry of "negligence in treatment", the state government has ordered multiple probes to ascertain the causes of the deaths.

Even as a technical team led by the Directorate of Medical Education & Training (DMET) is verifying each case of recent deaths individually, all other probe teams have denied allegations of negligence in treatment.

However, while two persons had earlier lodged FIRs alleging negligence in treatment, one more person filed an FIR today after his ailing daughter died in the Hospital in the morning

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