Amid media reports suggesting a high death rate of newborns at the G.K. General Hospital in Bhuj, Gujarat, its medical director has rejected this charge, saying hospital authorities are cooperating with a state government-appointed panel in the matter.
Dr. Gyaneshwar Rao, Medical Director of G.K. Hospital, said, “Comprehensive data reflecting the mortality trends have been shared with the Gujarat health ministry. The (hospital) authorities are cooperating with a three-member government-appointment panel and are looking into the matter.”
The hospital authorities, in a statement, termed the report of the death of seven infants on May 21 as false. It asserted that only one infant suffering from viral infection had passed away in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) of the hospital on May 21.
It was further informed that many patients admitted to the hospital are referred cases and develop further complications while on their way to the hospital, which results in a higher mortality rate at the hospital.
According to hospital statistics, the average mortality rate over the last year has dropped from 21 percent to 14 percent, while the average number of patients successfully discharged has risen from 68 percent to 79 percent.
G.K. Hospital’s NICU is run under the national program of Sick New-Born Care Unit (SNCU) and has the UNICEF as a technical partner. Data is validated by experts located in Gujarat capital Gandhinagar.
The mortality rate in the region is linked to the massive geography of the Kutch district, the largest district in India.
A large section of infants admitted to the hospital comprise those with fatal health issues such as malnourishment, premature birth, neonatal jaundice, etc. Despite this, the infant mortality rate of the hospital is one of the lowest amongst district hospitals of Gujarat.
In the past year, out of 33,284 pediatric patients treated in the hospital, 1,080 have been treated in the NICU.
According to public health experts, the Newborn Mortality Rate in any given hospital is highly variable depending on the number of complicated patients admitted in them.
If a hospital is getting very complicated cases, its mortality rate will be higher. Generally, 10 to 20 percent mortality is average under such circumstances, experts have said.
It has been revealed that the average occupancy of NICU is around 80 percent.
“The G.K. General Hospital has sufficient supplies of all drugs on the Essential Drugs List and provides the same to the patients free of cost. The hospital began functioning with 10 beds in the NICU, while today, it has a 30-bed NICU,” said Dr. Rao.
The hospital further clarified that the NICU is functioning under the Department of Pediatrics headed by Dr. Hasmukh Chauhan with 31 years of experience and he is supported by a team of experienced doctors.
Managed by the Gujarat Adani Institute of Medical Sciences (GAIMS), the administration has taken notable measures in stepping up health care at the hospital. This has led to a remarkable improvement in patient care.
In 2013-14, 200-250 outdoor patients and 100 indoor patients were treated at the hospital. Today, the number of indoor patients has risen to an average of 350 and OPD has increased to an average of 1200 per day.
A dedicated team of consultant and resident doctors are available at the hospital. The infrastructure and equipment at the hospital have also been upgraded over time.