Putting newborn lives at risk | The Daily Star
12:00 AM, October 21, 2016 / LAST MODIFIED: 12:00 AM, October 21, 2016

Editorial

Putting newborn lives at risk

Bordering on criminality

It is astonishing to learn that some hospital staff of the Bangladesh National Institute of Cardiovascular Diseases actively stopped a firm from installing oxygen pipelines in the hospital's Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) because they allegedly wanted a bribe which was not entertained by the contractor. This sort of unethical practice is unheard of because a number of newborns had been moved to the general ward so that the renovation work could be completed within the stipulated timeframe. However, as it turned out the renovation, which should have been completed within a few hours, could not be completed and the work only got started after the director of the institute got involved.

It seems that organised syndicates have taken over a lot of the medical institutes in the country. We have seen vested quarters play havoc with patients' lives in some other hospitals where ambulance services have been disrupted. There have been instances where non-doctors have performed surgery and now children's lives are put at stake because some vested quarters are more interested in lining their pockets than giving patients the critical care they need.

It is miraculous that none of the six children who had been moved out to the general ward suffered any major complications. But what if they did have an emergency? Who would take responsibility for that? Intensive care units exist to give specialised care to special cases and this act that was perpetrated by hospital staff needs to be investigated and charges need to be pressed against them for putting lives in danger.

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