Faced with Infant Deaths, Delhi Minister Saurabh Bharadwaj Assigns Media Liability

New Delhi: On Thursday, Delhi Minister Saurabh Bharadwaj attempted to shift blame for the heartbreaking fire at Delhi’s Baby Care New Born Hospital, which claimed the lives of seven newborns a week ago. When the Republic Media Network confronted Bharadwaj about the event, he chose to point the finger at the media rather than address the crucial safety and supervision flaws that resulted in the enormous fire. Bharadwaj, the Minister from Delhi, criticized the media and refused to respond when Reublic questioned him about the mistakes that resulted in the deaths of seven neonates. When Bharadwaj was questioned more about who was behind the seven killings, he tried to change the subject by bringing up the hit-and-run case in Gonda.

However, the Delhi police’s investigation into the terrible incident at New Born Baby Care Hospital has uncovered serious violations of safety protocols, personnel qualifications, and licensing that led to the deaths of infants. In order to guarantee a comprehensive investigation, the inquiry also encompasses different agencies and includes accusations of unlawful activity. In spite of everything, Bharadwaj choose to remain quiet. His evasive strategy raises concerns about the Delhi government’s accountability in addition to showing disrespect to the bereaved relatives of the seven newborns who are looking to the Arvind Kejriwal-led government for justice and answers.

The facility was operating under an expired license and lacked adequate safety safeguards, according to the Delhi Police. Reporters were told by Shahdara Deputy Commissioner of Police Surendra Choudhary that the Baby Care New Born facility did not have the necessary firefighting equipment. Notably, there was no emergency escape, insufficient access and exit provisions, and no fire extinguishers installed.

Expired License: According to reports, the private newborn facility was functioning illegally using a license that had expired on March 31, 2024, from the Government of Delhi’s Directorate General of Health Services (DGHS).

Authorities claim that the hospital lacked fire safety precautions, including an emergency escape and the installation of a fire extinguisher.
No Fire NOC: It was also discovered that the building lacked a fire NOC (No Objection Certificate). On Monday, authorities are scheduled to examine the relevant documentation.

Unlicensed Oxygen Refilling facility: Despite protests to local authorities, there is an unlicensed oxygen refilling facility on the hospital grounds, which has alarmed residents.

Unqualified Physicians: Concerns over the standard of treatment given were further raised by reports of unqualified physicians, including some with Bachelor of Ayurvedic Medicine and Surgery (BAMS) degrees, being listed on the hospital’s duty roster.

OSD of Saurabh Bharadwaj Suspended
This occurs one day after Health Minister Saurabh Bharadwaj’s Officer on Special Duty (OSD), RN Das, was suspended by Delhi Lieutenant Governor V K Saxena for his alleged “involvement in irregular and illegal registration of private nursing homes,” including the Vivek Vihar facility.

In response to the move, Bharadwaj had said that the LG was going after advisers, consultants, and other individuals that the AAP administration had recruited in an effort to render the “offices empty” and severely impair departmental operations.

In the order it issued on Wednesday, the Vigilance Directorate stated “The Hon’ble Lt. Governor, Delhi, in the exercise of the powers conferred by sub-rule (1) of Rule-10 of the CCS (CCA) Rules, 1965, hereby, places the said Dr. R.N. Das, Officer on Special Duty (OSD) to Hon’ble Minister (Health), GNCTD, under suspension with immediate effect.” The Directorate also said in a letter to the Anti Corruption Branch (ACB) that the Lieutenant Governor has instructed the organization to conduct a “urgent comprehensive enquiry” into nursing home registration under the Delhi Nursing Home Registration Act, 1953 and Rules, and to provide a report on any action taken by June 5.

An investigation by the ACB into the licensing and oversight of all private assisted living facilities
The hospital fire catastrophe exposed the mismanagement, criminal indifference, and complicity” of Health Department officials, according to the LG, which on Tuesday ordered a thorough ACB investigation into the registration and regulatory administration of all private nursing facilities in the city.

“The immediate cause for placing the officer under suspension is on account of reported misconduct with regard to unauthorised and illegal running of Jyoti Nursing Home, Shahadra beyond the valid registration period when he was also Medical Superintendent of Nursing Home Cell,” according to an official. According to authorities, the May 25 fire incident at the Baby Care Centre in Vivek Vihar is the latest example of the Nursing Home Cell’s callousness.

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