BJP govt has 'failed' to manage healthcare in Gujarat: Congress
Ahmedabad: The Congress on Monday said the large-scale death of infants in public hospitals in Gujarat exposes "failure" of the ruling BJP in managing healthcare and asked the government to ensure funds earmarked for medical services are spent properly and not wasted on celebrations.
The main opposition party said Gujarat has image of a "progressive" state, but it still lacks basic health facilities for common people.
From the governments own admission, 36,000 infants die in the progressive state of Gujarat every year, or 100 infants
every day, which exposes the governments failure in providing proper health facilities to people.
"We do not seek to politicise the issue, but this figure is a matter of grave concern, Congress leader Paresh Dhanani said.
Addressing the media here, the Leader of Opposition in the Assembly asked the BJP government to ensure budgetary allocation for health is spent properly and crores of rupees "wasted" by the government on organising "celebrations" are used to improve medical services.
He said a delegation of Congress leaders will meet Governor Acharya Devvrat on Wednesday with a set of demands related to improving health services in Gujarat.
Health Minister Nitin Patel had on Sunday told reporters that 12 lakh children are born every year in Gujarat.
He said of these, 30 per 1,000 babies born die according to the governments last statistics, which brings the mortality figure to roughly 100 babies per day.
Last month, as many as 111 infants died at Rajkot's civil hospital, Patel had said.
"The government has failed in managing health services in the state with rampant privatisation of hospitals and medical colleges helping private players at the cost of public, Dhanani said.
"The government should immediately stop unnecessary expenditure on state-sponsored celebrations and focus on improving health services by filling in vacancies of doctors and other staff in government hospitals rather than exploiting youth in the name of contract service, he said.
Meanwhile, state Congress president Amit Chavda visited the Rajkot civil hospital and met officials along with local party leaders and workers.
Chavda, along with party workers, also held a sit-in to protest what he called "negligence on part of the state government which is causing the death of infants".
"Lack of doctors, medical facilities and serious negligence on part of the government in managing health services have resulted in the death of infants. If anyone is responsible for these deaths, it is the government," he said.
During the meeting with the governor, the Congress delegation will also make a representation on a host of other issues, Dhanani said.