A hospital staff said that multiple requests have been sent to the Health Department but have received no response.

 Newborns forced to share incubators patients sleep on floor at Ktaka hospital
news Health Thursday, August 31, 2017 - 19:21

Multiple women sleeping on a single bed, two or more babies lodged in the same incubator. This is the scene at Karnataka’s Kalburgi District Government Hospital.

On Thursday, pictures of women who have recently delivered babies, sleeping on the floor and sharing beds, appeared in the media.

“We have only 22 baby incubators. The hospital administration had requested the Health Department for more beds and incubators as we always fall short. The first request was sent one-and-a-half year ago. We have sent many requests over this period but there has been no response from the government,” one of the hospital staff told TNM on condition of anonymity.

He alleged that the hospital authorities inform the patients about the lack of space before admitting them.

“We do not want to get into trouble because of the government’s negligence. We inform the patients about the lack of space and suggest that they go to the private hospital. But there are so many families that cannot afford private healthcare and end up agreeing to share beds and sleeping on the floor on extra mattresses,” the hospital staff added.

Moreover, the source said that the most dangerous situation was lodging multiple infants in one incubator.

“It is highly unhygienic but we have no other option. There are high chances of infection and most of the infant deaths in our hospital has been due to some sort of infection. No matter how many times we tell the authorities, there is no response. We are doing the best we can in such a situation,” the source added.

According to Anusudha* a mother who delivered a baby boy at the hospital a week ago, the doctors had told her that there were no beds available when she arrived at the hospital with her husband and mother.

“We are from a small village in Gulbarga. We cannot afford to pay for treatment in a private hospital. I got my wife from our village all the way to the district hospital hoping that she will get better treatment than the taluk hospital in Chitapura. But that is not the case. There were no beds. They told us that she could share a bed with another woman but they lodged her on a mattress on the floor,” Anusudha’s husband said.

BJP leader Suresh Kumar visited the Kalburgi District Hospital on Thursday and took stock of the situation. “I will write to the Health Department about the hospital’s condition and ensure that swift action is taken to rectify the shortage of facilities,” he added.

*Name changed on request 

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