JORHAT, Oct 23 - Minister of State for Health and Family Welfare Pijush Hazarika today visited Jorhat Medical College & Hospital (JMCH) to take stock of the situation in the wake of 45 newborn deaths in the current month from October 1 to 22.
Executive Director (NHM, Assam) Achyut Baishya and Additional Director of Medical Studies AK Choudhary too visited JMCH and reviewed the situation in the wake of the deaths. Director Medical Studies Dr Anup Kumar Barman joined the review meeting via video-conference.
This is the highest number of infant deaths in this year, a JMCH source said.
JMCH Principal Professor Atul Baro told The Assam Tribune that altogether 287 newborns were admitted to the NICU (Neonatal Intensive Care Unit) between October 1 to 22 and 45 of them died.
Among the 287 admitted, about 50 per cent were babies born at the JMCH and the rest from peripheral areas and adjoining districts. He said that the JMCH doctors and staff had put in their best efforts in providing all necessary medication, but the babies that died were suffering from critical ailments, with many of them very much underweight having low survival chances.
He said that normally there is a rush of delivery cases in the October to December period.
Baro said that the Minister after reviewing the situation with the JMCH authorities announced increase in beds of the NICU from present 40 to about 65 to meet the increase in newborns coming to JMCH in critical condition. The Principal said that the Minister had directed PWD officials to carry out the task of necessary infrastructure expansion to accommodate the additional beds.
Hazarika also announced providing seven more doctors (gynaecologists, anaesthesists and paediatricians) to the JMCH at the earliest to meet the situation.
It may be mentioned here that from November 1 to 14 last year 23 newborn deaths at the JMCH had triggered a big uproar with several high-level officials of the Health department rushing to the institute.
Between November 1 to 6 , 2018 there were 15 newborn deaths, out of which six were on November 6.
Then also an increase of beds in the NICU and increasing the nursing staff was announced by top Health officials but the increase in the number of beds was not carried out.
Our Staff Reporter adds from Guwahati: A team from the Health department has gone to Jorhat to inquire into the reported deaths of a number of newborns at the Jorhat Medical College and Hospital (JMCH) in recent weeks.
Minister for Health and Family Welfare Dr Himanta Biswa Sarma said here today that the flow of patients seeking admissions for treatment at the JMCH has increased substantially during the past one month.
�We do not know what may be the reason for more people seeking treatment at the JMCH. Maybe it is on account of lack of proper facilities in the peripheral areas,� he said.
He said that the footfall of patients in government hospitals of Assam has increased greatly in recent times, especially due to the launch of the healthcare and insurance schemes by the Centre and the State.
The demand for ICU beds in government hospitals has gone up and so steps have been taken to increase the number of ICU beds at the Gauhati Medical College & Hospital (GMCH) and the JMCH.
�We are trying to make the Lakhimpur Medical College functional within six months,� Sarma said.
Sarma said that 25 per cent of the work at the AIIMS site at Changsari has been completed so far and the government is looking to start the hospital by 2021.