Punjab government suspends doctor and initiates inquiry into infant deaths

Chandigarh, Nov 24: The Punjab government ordered the suspension of a lady doctor and initiated an inquiry into the death of five still born babies at a government hospital in Ludhiana. The doctor, Alka Mittal, a gynaecologist, was placed under suspension after preliminary enquiries revealed that she did not come to the Civil Hospital in Ludhiana on Sunday on time, forcing the hospital staff to carry out deliveries. (Read: What is sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS)?)

Five new born babies died during delivery leading to protests from affected families. The babies died during or just after delivery. The mother and child care unit of the hospital had been inaugurated recently. Affected families alleged that no doctors were available for delivery of the pregnant mothers and the hospital staff started conducting the procedure leading to the deaths. They alleged that the infants died due to negligence of hospital doctors and staff. Punjab Health Minister Surjit Kumar Jayani had ordered a probe against Mittal Sunday evening. (Read: 5 reasons that lead to early infant death)

The same doctor had been charge sheeted by the state health department earlier this month for negligence. Mittal had claimed that the five delivery cases were already in critical condition when the mothers were brought to the hospital. However, she could not justify her absence during duty hours and why the hospital staff had to carry out the deliveries instead of doctors. Terming the incident as 'unfortunate', Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal told media in Amritsar Monday that he had ordered an enquiry into the incident. 'If laxity was found on the part of any public servant in dealing with this incident, action would be taken as per law,' he said. (Read: India lags behind targets set for reducing malnutrition and infant deaths)

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Source: IANS

Image Source: Getty Images

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