At least 940 patients died at a Kota hospital in 2019

Fourteen more infants have died at the J K Lone hospital here in the last five days, taking the number of deaths to 91 this month at the facility.

“The 14 infants, including six newborns, died in the period between December 25 and December 29 in NICU and PICU units of the hospital,” the newly appointed superintendent of the hospital, Suresh Dulara, said on Monday.

Earlier, 77 infants had died till December 24 including 10 within 48 hours on December 23-24, he said. On the cause of deaths, Amrit Lal Bairwa, Head of Department of Pediatrics, said that they are analyzing the reasons behind the 77 deaths till December 25.

Lok Sabha Speaker Om Birla, who is MP from Kota, had expressed concern over the death of infants and urged the state government to act with sensitivity. He had visited the hospital to take stock of the situation and directed the officials to make adequate arrangement to ensure such incidents do not occur in future.

Meanwhile, social workers objected to visits by political leaders to the hospital, which is the largest government hospital in Kota-Bundi parliamentary constituency after BJP formed a committee comprising four MPs to look into the matter.

“The visits of the leaders have further worsened the situation as the doctors and medical staff attending to the patients get distracted,” said Anwar Ahmad who heads an NGO.

According to official data, the hospital has witnessed a decline in such deaths in last six years. In 2014, 15,719 patients were admitted, out of which 1,198 died. In 2019, 16,892 patients were admitted out of which 940 died.

The National Commission for Protection of Child Rights during inspection of J K Lon Hospital found broken windows and gates, pigs roaming inside hospital campus and acute shortage of staff.

The apex child rights body, NCPCR chairperson Priyank Kanoongo issued a show cause notice to Vaibhav Galtiya, Secretary of Medical Education Department in Rajasthan government, and sought an action taken report from him on its findings.