Mumbai: After the uproar over the death of 10 newborns in a fire that broke out in a Bhandara hospital on January 9, the Maharashtra Government suspended the Bhandara district general hospital surgeon for breach and dereliction of duty on Thursday.
Further, the government has transferred the additional civil surgeon, suspended the Special Newborn Care Unit department head and nurses and terminated the services of a paediatrician and two nurses. Health Minister Rajesh Tope said the government took these decisions based on the recommendations of a committee headed by the Nagpur Divisional Commissioner, which conducted an inquiry into the incident.
Bhandara District Civil Surgeon Dr Pramod Khandate has been suspended, Additional Civil Surgeon Dr Sunila Bade has been transferred to a non-executive post, Paediatrician Dr Sushil Ambade and the services of Nurses Smita Ambiddulke and Shubhangi Sathawane have been terminated, while Medical Officer Dr Archana Meshram and Nurse Jyoti Bharaskar have been suspended.
Tope further said that all district hospitals in the state would be audited for fire and safety within 15 days. A committee has been constituted under the chairmanship of Health Commissioner Dr Ramaswamy, to prepare an action plan. A letter has also been sent to all the district guardian ministers about the provision of funds for health institutions through the district planning development committee.
There was strong evidence of fire in the electric circuit in the SNCU, Tope said. Ten newborns perished in the tragedy. He said the hospital had been inaugurated in 2015 and no fire audit had been conducted.
The probe panel has said that a short-circuit caused a baby warmer to catch fire, and the blaze later spread to the entire SNCU of the hospital.