JAIPUR: Battling criticism over the spate of infant deaths, Rajasthan Health Minister Raghu Sharma reached the government-run hospital in Kota district on Friday but where a new controversy broke out over the welcome accorded to him.
A ‘green-carpet’ was rolled out to welcome Sharma and the JK Lon Hospital was spruced up with a fresh coat of paint as he arrived to take stock of the situation. Later, officials had to remove the carpet when the issue became the talk of the town. Despite the VIP presence, a baby girl lost her life raising the toll to 105.
More bad news came when the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) issued a notice to the Rajasthan government after taking cognizance of media reports about the death of more than 100 children at the hospital since December last year.
The Ashok Gehlot-led Congress government was asked to submit a detailed report within four weeks in the matter, including the steps being taken to address the issue. The NHRC has also directed the Rajasthan government to ensure that such deaths do not recur due to “lack of infrastructure and health facilities” in hospitals.
Given the mounting public anger and politics surrounding the child deaths, Sharma held a series of meetings at the hospital and promised corrective action to be fully in place by January 15. “We have sanctioned `1 crore to immediately rectify the situation at this hospital. I have taken note of each and every shortcoming. I assure you that all steps necessary to change and improve this situation will be put in place by January 15,” he said.