It seems all is not well in the health care sector in the national capital, going by the latest infant mortality rate (IMR) in the city.
As per the latest Delhi Government statistics, infant mortality rate - number of newborns dying within the first year of life - was 18 per 1,000 live births in the city in 2008.
The IMR in the city was 13 deaths per 1,000 children in 2004 which increased to 18 in the year 2006 and then to 25 next year, almost double of the 2004 figure.
The latest IMR was reported in a document presented by Delhi Government to the Planning Commission which in turn wrote back to Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit asking her to take effective steps in bringing down the rate.
In his letter to Ms. Dikshit last week, Planning Commission Deputy Chairperson Montek Singh Ahluwalia expressed concern over rise in infant mortality rate in the city and said the government must look into the issue seriously.
When asked about the letter from Mr. Ahluwalia, Ms. Dikshit tried to play down the issue, saying “we will sort it out”.
Officials in Delhi Government’s health department said although the figure was disturbing, still it is much lower than the national average of 53 deaths per 1,000 newborns.
In its report to the Planning Commission, Delhi Government said the number of beds in hospitals in the city have gone up from 32,998 in 2005 to 38,004 in 2009. The report said the sex ratio at birth (number of females per one thousand males) has also gone up from 822 in 2005 to 1,004 in 2008.