Acute equipment shortage in Srinagar hospital

September 26th, 2008 - 4:22 pm ICT by IANS  

Srinagar, Sep 26 (IANS) The department for children at the hospital here where 17 babies died in a span of two months is facing an acute shortage of equipment, a doctor said here Friday.Wajid Ali, head of neo-natology and paediatrics at Sher-e-Kashmir Institute of Medical Sciences (SKIMS), told IANS that it was plagued by a serious shortage of equipment.

He said life-support equipment for the child care unit in SKIMS was being bought through donations right now.

“I have also personally donated for buying of life-support equipment for the unit,” he said.

Ali said: “We have a serious shortage of bio-medical equipment like ventilators, incubators, infusion pumps, and photo-therapy systems. Those are an absolute must for the new born intensive care unit (ICU).”

“For the last five years, not a single new equipment has been purchased for the unit,” he said.

He also said the issue of equipment purchase for the department had been raised in the state legislative assembly.

“First we were promised Rs.5 crores (Rs.50 million) for the purchase of bio-medical equipment and later the grant was slashed down to less than a crore,” he said.

He denied that a probe has been ordered into the deaths of 17 babies in the hospital between March 3 and May 1 this year.

“There is no increased incidence of new born mortality in the hospital.

“We regularly take mortality meetings in the hospital and no probe has been ordered into the deaths of new born babies in the hospital as claimed by a news report,” said Ali.

He said the deaths did not amount to “an alarming rise in new born mortality which merited a probe”.

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