Calcutta, Nov. 5: Taslima Begum and her husband Nayeem were anxious to take their just-born girl today out of BC Roy Hospital for Children where 22 babies have died in three days. Many other parents wanted to do that too.
In August-September 2002, 18 children had died in 72 hours. Many promises were made then. Hereís a list of what has not been done since:
Union health minister Shatrughan Sinha had pledged a Rs 10-crore grant to revamp the hospital.
Not a paisa has come from Delhi.
Sourav Ganguly donated Rs 71 lakh to buy equipment for a neonatal intensive care unit and a paediatric ICU.
The equipment have not been bought yet.
State health department granted Rs 1.80 crore to build a new building to house the two ICUs and add 110 beds.
Building not ready, electrical wiring yet to be completed.
Construction started in end-2004 with six-month deadline.
First, plan was to add two floors to the existing building, then changed to construct a new building. Split air-conditioners wrongly installed. It took nearly three months to set them right.
After the 2002 tragedy, the government promised to increase the number of doctors.
Now, one doctor daily attends to at least 150-200 outdoor patients. In emergency, a senior doctor takes care of at least 80-90 patients a day.
An X-ray machine arrived a few months after the 2002 deaths and an ultrasonography machine was loaned from SSKM.
From the first day, X-ray gives blurred pictures. No technician to man USG machine. No facility for CT scans, not to speak of a life-support system.
Hospitals have an observation room attached to emergency to treat patients who canít be immediately admitted.
The government has made it mandatory, but BC Roy doesnít have one.
A happy ending would be nice, and hereís one piece of good news: oxygen now comes to beds through a pipeline.
But in most cases, one tube is shared by two babies.