INDORE: A magisterial inquiry was ordered on Tuesday into the death of a two-day-old infant at the district hospital after photographs of ants crawling on the child's body went viral on social media. Allegations of medical apathy by hospital drew anger among citizens.
The inquiry committee will also investigate how a photographer got access to the mortuary where the baby lay and whether the photograph was authentic. The panel will table its report in 15 days. Talking to TOI, district collector P Narahari said, "A magisterial inquiry has been ordered to look into the circumstances that led to the infant's death. The panel headed by a sub-divisional magistrate will also probe negligence by hospital staff." While district administration launched a probe, health minister Narottam Mishra suspended four employees, including an on-duty doctor.
The action was taken after a preliminary probe showed the infant died due to lack of care. Joint director (health), Dr Sharad Pandit had sought action on Monday against the doctor on night duty, Dr Anubha Srivastava. The other employees who have been suspended include staff nurse Sushila Ralebhat, midwife Chhoti Bai and housekeeper Madhu Bai with immediate effect.
"A three-member committee was constituted immediately after the incident. The panel led by Dr M Hargunani found negligence by staff after which the suspensions were ordered," said Dr Pandit.
On Monday, family members of the infant had created ruckus at the district hospital, alleging medical negligence. They also ransacked nurses' room and lodged a complaint with police. Sangita Baghel, resident of Sirpur, had delivered a baby girl on June 4 and got her vaccinated in the hospital on the same day. "Mother and child were healthy after the delivery, but condition of the baby later deteriorated. Doctors and nurses of the hospital did not act swiftly after the baby developed fever," said Suresh Baghel. He said the baby was vaccinated at 8 pm on June 4 and developed fever at night.
"On-duty doctors told us that fever was normal after vaccination, but they didn't give treatment due to which we lost our baby," he said.