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Home / India News / 2007 / May 2007 / May 8, 2007
Kerela CM gives clean chit to hospital over infants death
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Kerela CM gives clean chit to hospital over infants death

Kerala Chief Minister V. S. Achuthanandan on Tuesday gave a clean chit to a state-run hospital Sree Avittam Tirunal (SAT) here, where 38 newborn babies have died since January.

Thiruvananthapuram, May 8 : Kerala Chief Minister V. S. Achuthanandan on Tuesday gave a clean chit to a state-run hospital Sree Avittam Tirunal (SAT) here, where 38 newborn babies have died since January.

Achuthanandan after visiting the hospital said there was a conspiracy to malign the hospital's reputation.

"Despite concerted efforts to show the hospital in bad light, there have been a steady flow of patients to the hospital. It shows there have been a deliberate campaign against the hospital and something was amiss in the whole controversy about the deaths of children," Achuthanandan told reporters.

Police had booked the state Health Minister P. K. Sreemathy and seven medical practitioners on a local court order for infants' deaths in the hospital.

Media reports said that the babies died due to infection caused by unhygienic conditions that prevailed in the hospital's labour room.

The Kerela Government has set up a five-member panel to probe into the deaths and remove the hospital's registrar for negligence.

State-run hospitals in the country are over-crowded and the doctor-patient ratio is one doctor to 2,460 patients, as against 1:40-60 in developed countries, leading to inadequate attention to patients.

Around 2.1 million children below five years of age die every year, of which over 60 percent are under one year old, according to the United Nations' Children Fund (UNICEF).

The infant mortality rate in the country stands at 57 per 1,000 live births - more than impoverished Eritrea and Bangladesh.

The Central Government had increased health spending for the fiscal year April-March 2007/08 by 21 percent to 99.47 billion rupees, but the government funding for health is just 2.4 percent of the GDP.

ANI

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