Authorities finally deliver oxygen to hospital in India after outrage over child deaths

Authorities deliver oxygen to hospital in India after outrage over child deaths

Some have protested about deaths in hospitals in India

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Oxygen has finally been delivered to a hospital in India by local health authorities after it ran out of supplies due to unpaid bills, with critics linking this problem to a spate of child deaths.

Sixty three people have recently died of encephalitis at the public hospital in Uttar Pradesh and almost half of them were children, according to Reuters.

Encephalitis, a disease spread by mosquitos, is very common when it is monsoon season and oxygen is vital to the treatment of the condition.

The spate of mortalities at the hospital has not officially been linked to a lack of oxygen, but parents of the young victims have been seen on television saying this problem is directly responsible for their children's deaths.

Many were angered by this and claim it proves how badly public health in the country is funded, even though Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi has promised to address the issue.

Public anger has also been directed towards chief minister Yogi Adityanath as his constituency is Gorakhpur, where the hospital is based.

Some parents also claimed their children struggled to get glucose injections, blood supplies or cotton gauze whilst at the hospital. Meanwhile hospital records show hundreds of patients admitted for encephalitis this weekend alone, and many were treated on the floor near the toilets as there weren't enough beds.

The Government has now sacked the head of the hospital, Rajeev Misra, and the head of the paediatrics department in an attempt to fight off opposition criticism.

But Misra claimed responsibility for the recent problem lies higher up the chain, saying he wrote to the state several times asking for the hospital bills to be paid. Government spending on healthcare in the country is one of the lowest in the world, roughly 1% of GDP.