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MP: Health Minister Pleads Ignorance in Assembly After Facing Questions on Covid Compensation Being Slashed

The Madhya Pradesh health minister issued vague and incomplete answers to queries regarding Covid compensation in the state assembly on Tuesday. Questioned about compensation to kin of those who died of Covid-19 being slashed to Rs 50,000 from Rs 1 lakh, state health minister Dr Prabhuram Chaudhary pleaded ignorance over the situation.

To the query raised by Congress MLA Bala Bachchan, Chaudhary, in a written reply, claimed that information on the matter was being compiled.

The MP government had recently issued orders that claim forms must be collected from affected families, and should then be disposed of within a month.

Chaudhary had similar responses to other queries on related guidelines and norms regarding Covid-19. He was questioned over why none of the families had received the compensation and as to when the compensation will be restored to Rs 1 lakh as announced by chief minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan earlier. He also faced queries as to when the compensation disbursement will be completed. To another query from Congress MLA Tarun Bhanot, Chaudhary said the state government had not issued any notification regarding compensation for Covid-19.

In the past, Chouhan had announced Rs 1 lakh ex-gratia for the families of those who had died of Covid-19. Chaudhary’s reply said 10,080 people had died of Covid, including 480 in home isolation.

Over 68,000 infant deaths in last five years

In another written reply to the state assembly on Tuesday, Chaudhary said Madhya Pradesh had witnessed over 68,000 infant deaths at state-run mega hospitals in the last five years, which is an average 1,100 deaths a year.

In the last five years, 5,00,996 infants were admitted for treatment at government hospitals out of which over 68,000 died due to different reasons, the reply said. One of these hospitals, Hamidia hospital in Bhopal, had reported four infant deaths in a fire incident recently and eight others due to health complexities.

In 2020-21, hospitals witnessed 99,148 infant admissions out of which 68,301 died, the reply stated. As 13,530 died at government hospitals last year, the average comes to 37 deaths daily.

The reply was submitted in response to a question raised by Congress MLA Jitu Patwari on child intensive care units and infant deaths in districts as well as details of the probe into and action taken in connection with the fire incident at Hamidia hospital.

In a reply to the part regarding the status of probe and action taken report in connection with the fire at Hamidia hospital, Chaudhary in his written reply claimed that the required information was being compiled and did not offer a concrete response.

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