Minister denies charge of negligence; supports doctors

Yet another two-day old baby died at SVRRGG hospital here on Thursday. The baby of Yanadamma from Naidupet was admitted to the hospital on Tuesday with ischemic encephalopathy stage II with respiratory distress, but it succumbed on Thursday, Superintendent J. Veeraswamy told The Hindu. He however denied media reports of three deaths.

Meanwhile, Minister for Mines and Geology Galla Arunakumari on Thursday virtually gave a clean chit to the doctors on duty at Ruia Children’s Super specialty Hospital, where six infants died on Wednesday.

During a visit to the hospital, she inspected the neonatal and postnatal wards and interacted with the parents of the infants receiving treatment. She found two children accommodated on each bed, but made no mention about it. Speaking to the media later, she refuted allegations of negligence and came out in strong support of the doctors on duty. “Every doctor will try to save the lives and they know very well that such deaths will leave a blot on their personality. It is not a case of negligence,” she reiterated, but blamed it on the admissions touching 2.5 times the sanctioned bed strength of 90. The Minister, who held the Medical and Health portfolio earlier, recalled that most cases were brought here at the terminal stage after being discarded by traditional practitioners or private doctors elsewhere.

However, she admitted that there was acute water problem in the hospital, besides shortage of attendants and security guards, giving an assurance to solve the problems at the earliest.

Earlier, the Minister was accosted at the hospital’s portico by BJP activists led by former Women’s Commission chairperson K. Santha Reddy. Enraged at the ‘Minister Go Back’ slogans, Ms.Aruna walked away, but later stopped to listen to their plea.

Ms. Santha Reddy also sought to know from her in what capacity was the Member of Parliament, Chinta Mohan, allowed to reside on the hospital complex, causing disturbance to the patients with his political meetings and activities.