A week after series of crib deaths at two state-run hospitals, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Wednesday said most of the infants had been underweight and were suffering from malnutrition.
"I have come to know that most of these babies were underweight and were suffering from malnutrition. 30 babies died. It is sad," Banerjee said at a Trinamool Congress party meeting at the Netaji indoor stadium in Kolkata.
The government had earlier given a clean chit to both the B C Roy Children's Hospital and the Burdwan Medical College and Hospital on the death of the infants.
Even the death of a single baby was shocking, Banejee who holds the health portfolio, said and blamed the previous Left Front government for healthcare in the state being in shambles.
"West Bengal comes fourth after Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu and Kerala in child mortality rates and our chief concern is to see that pregnant mothers are taken better care so that healthy babies are born," Banerjee said.
Banerjee said after assuming charge she had released Rs 1,200 crore for rural healthcare. "I took the initiative to add 37 ICU beds and 3,000 beds in hospitals and we have many plans to upgrade the health system."
During the 12th plan, the state government would set-up some hospitals which would take care of the needy with schemes submitted to the planning commission, she said.
The chief minister claimed that the Left Front government had set-up health centres and hospitals which did not have even a doctor, nurse, or medical staff.
She also alleged that the previous government siphoned off funds reserved for treatment of AIDS patients.