Malda (WB): Deepa Dasmunsi, the bete noire of Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, and another union minister from West Bengal on Saturday visited Malda Medical College and Hospital where 37 infants died in six days since Saturday.
Dasmunsi, minister of state for urban development, and Abu Hasem Khan Chowdhury, minister of state for health, said they visited the hospital to review the situation following the crib deaths. "Several hundred children died at the hospital last year too. Still the situation has not been changed," said the minister who also talked to the hospital authorities.
Khan Chowdhury dismissed the authorities' explanation that they were under tremendous pressure as patients come to them from even neighbouring districts and states. "It is normal that patients will come to a medical college hospital even from outside. But the way it is being raised as an excuse is not right," he told reporters.
Dasmunsi said they were not being informed of anything. "We come to know of the situation from the media." Earlier at a press meet, she criticised the Mamata Banerjee government saying it should examine why crib deaths were recurring in the Malda hospital. Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee holds the health
portfolio. Various central government health schemes were not reaching the people, she said.
Khan Chowdhury said he would discuss with Dasmunsi and take a decision on sending an expert team of the union government to the hospital. Though a Health Task Force had claimed the situation of crib deaths in the Malda hospital was not as alarming as it was made out in the media, state Governor MK Narayanan expressed concern over the deaths.