The Shiv Sena today hit out at the BJP-led government in Uttar Pradesh over the deaths of several children in two hospitals there and claimed the health service offered by it was a ‘yamdoot’ (agent of death) instead of being a ‘devdoot’ (angel). The Sena also alleged that if the government machinery was itself “on oxygen”, then how would it provide oxygen to patients. At least 49 infants died in a month in the Farrukhabad district hospital in UP, most of them from “perinatal asphyxia”, a condition in which a newborn has trouble breathing, officials said yesterday. In a virtual replay of the tragedy in Gorakhpur, where 30 children died in two days in a state-run hospital last month, many of the parents in Farrukhabad told officials there was a delay in providing the infants with oxygen and medicines.
“The health service is supposed to be devdoot (angel), but in UP, it has proved to be yamdoot (agent of death),” the Sena said in an editorial in party mouthpiece ‘Saamana’. “Those who had came down heavily on the Mamata Banerjee government around six years back, when around 50 children had died in a fortnight in West Bengal, are now in power in Uttar Pradesh,” it said. It said the death of children in the two hospitals allegedly due to lack of supply of oxygen had raised a big question mark over the quality of health services in Uttar Pradesh.
The Shiv Sena, which is a constituent of the NDA government at the Centre and is BJP’s ally in Maharashtra, also wondered if the state administration was taking the government’s orders seriously. It asked how many times, the cycle of deaths and the subsequent action against officials was going to be repeated in the state.
“The people from poor and lower middle classes approach the government-run hospitals. They look up to the government’s medical services for treatment and recovery,” the Sena said. “But, the current health service in UP seems to be on oxygen, hence it is less effective,” it claimed.