Alleging that the death of nine newborn babies in VSS Medical College and Hospital at Burla is a pointer to the deteriorating health services in the State, the Odisha Pradesh Congress Committee (OPCC) on Sunday demanded the resignation of Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik and Health Minister Damodar Rout for the incident.
“The Chief Minister and the Health Minister should immediately resign taking moral responsibility for the incident,” OPCC president Jaydev Jena said and demanded a high level probe into the incident. Ordering probe by Health department officials of such a serious incident has proved that the Chief Minister has taken the incident lightly, Jena said.
The Congress demanded compensation of `10 lakh each for the family of the infants who died. Criticising the State Government for its failure to utilise Central funds in the health sector in a proper manner, Jena alleged that the Chief Minister is busy playing to the gallery. While the Centre is providing money for ambulance services, the Chief Minister is only flagging off ambulances without providing the required infrastructure, only keeping an eye on the next elections, he said.
The State Government has also failed to take precautionary measure to check dengue, the OPCC president said and alleged that the disease is spreading in Cuttack, Dhenkanal, Ganjam, Khurda, Angul, Jajpur and Mayurbhanj districts.
The OPCC on Sunday constituted a committee headed by former health minister Harihar Karan to visit Burla and inquire into the incident. The other members of the committee are former ministers Ramakant Mishra and Prakash Debta and party leader Narendra Mishra. The committee will submit its report to AICC in-charge, Odisha, B K Hariprasad and the OPCC president within three days.
Meanwhile, the State unit of the CPI has demanded that the medical superintendent and departmental head should be suspended immediately.
State secretary Dibakar Nayak said a probe into the incident should be conducted by Sambalpur district judge aided by an expert team from the All-India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS).