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Uneasy calm in Bengal's biggest paediatric hospital

Thursday June 30, 2011 11:06:18 PM, IANS

Kolkata: An uneasy calm prevailed Thursday evening at the B.C. Roy Children's hospital here, which till late afternoon witnessed chaos and violence following the death of at least 18 infants in less than two days due to various causes.

The unfortunate parents had left the hospital after authorities released the bodies of their babies. Only a cluster of relatives of the other admitted child patients, some media persons and police personnel could be found.

The death of at least 50 children in the hospital in past 10 days has left the authorities red faced after protests from the victim's relatives and political parties alleging medical negligence on their part for the deaths.

West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee has already sought a detailed report from the state health secretary and set up a committee to probe into the death of the children.

The hospital principal, superintendent and other senior doctors were found busy holding meetings and preparing reports. Two members of the inquiry committee visited the hospital late evening and spoke to the authorities.

However, the relatives of the children undergoing treatment in the hospital alleged that even after the series of children deaths, the medical facilities have not improved while the doctors and other staffs continue to be uncooperative.

"My seven-year-old nephew has been undergoing treatment since past seven days. He was an epilepsy patient but his situation has not improved a little and now the authorities are requesting us to take him back," said Sushanta Das of Sandeshkhali in South 24 Pargana district.

He also alleged that even after repeated attempts they have failed to meet the attending doctor.

Birbhum resident Bapi Laha, whose daughter has been undergoing treatment since Tuesday, also complained of the same, saying dearth of doctors and nurses was a major concern.

"The hospital is considered to be the largest referral paediatric hospital in the eastern region with a huge inflow of patients throughout the year. There are only 60 out of 360 beds reserved for paediatric cases while the rest are general and paying beds.






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