RAIPUR: The Chhattisgarh Congress today sought the resignation of state Health Minister Ajay Chandrakar over the death an infant after the door of an ambulance malfunctioned.
State Congress chief Bhupesh Baghel, in a press conference here, said it was very painful and heart-wrenching that the child died after being stuck in the ambulance for about two hours on hospital premises.
"The incident reflects the pathetic state of healthcare in Chhattisgarh," he alleged.
The two and a half-month baby died yesterday due to a delay in treatment after the door of the ambulance, in which he was brought to a local hospital, failed to open due to a malfunction, the infant's father alleged.
He alleged that the baby had to be extricated from the window of the ambulance and rushed to the hospital where doctors declared him dead on arrival.
"In a letter dated July 10, GVK EMRI, which operates Sanjeevani 108 ambulances services in the state, had asked the state government to replace the ambulances which had crossed running of 2.5 lakh km or span of 5 years as per the MoU between them," he said.
As per the letter, as on June 30, there were 173 ambulances out of the total 239, which needed to be replaced urgently, Baghel said.
"But the government did not pay heed to it, as a result of which the family lost their child," he alleged.
Besides, the trained staff of the '108' and '102' ambulance services had been on a strike since the last couple of days in support of their demand for a pay hike, due to which the untrained staff members were handling the emergency services, the Congress leader said.
Citing the example of Thailand, where 12 members of a youth soccer team and their coach were recently rescued from a flooded cave there, Baghel said, "In Chhattisgarh a child died after being stuck in the ambulance."
"Chief Minister Raman Singh did not take any action against his health minister even after tragic incidents like death of women after sterlisation, botched cataract surgeries, uterus removal case. At least now, he should be ashamed," he said.
Chandrakar should step down from his post and apologise to people of the state or the chief minister should dismiss him, Baghel added.
A senior official of the company which operates '108 ambulance service' in Chhattisgarh was booked in connection with the baby's death.