‘Politics shouldn’t be done over infant deaths’

Bhubaneswar: With the State government refusing to take service of six doctors sent by the Centre to work at Sishu Bhavan in Cuttack, Union Petroleum Minister Dharmendra Pradhan today asked the state to refrain from indulging in politics at least in the health matters.

Sixty four infants have died in Shishu Bhavan in the past two weeks.

“We took up the Sishu Bhavan issue with the Prime Minister and he asked the Union Health Ministry to send a medical team to the paediatric centre. But, instead of tapping the chance, Odisha Government did not entertain the doctors which is embarrassing,” Pradhan told reporters here.

Pradhan who visited Sishu Bhavan said the six-member doctors team comprised experts from reputed health institutes like AIIMS New Delhi, Ram Manohar Lohia Hospital and Safdarjung Hospital.

“The Centre had sent the expert doctors after realising that 13 posts of assistant professors remained vacant at Sishu Bhavan. These doctors have expertise. They could have helped in resolving the crisis,” Pradhan said, adding that the state should reconsider the issue so far as federal structure is concerned.

Pradhan said, “I am ready to get defeated, but the children should survive. The state government should refrain from doing politics over the matter.”

Elaborating on the embarrassment he faced due to state government’s action, Pradhan said he was the person who had moved the case to the Prime Minister and sought central help.

Reacting to the allegations of Pradhan, BJD spokesperson Pratap Deb said, “The Union minister has sent the staff after knowing about infant deaths. But, We sent them back. We don’t want a team, intead we need specialists who will tell why the deaths occurred. Is it becuase of virus, lack of infrastructure or medical negligence?”