ANKARA - Turkish Daily News
The Health Ministry's report on recent infant deaths in an Ankara hospital is still far from explaining the real reasons behind the tragedies, the health workers' union said Thursday.
The Medical Workers' Union, or SES, claimed in a press conference Thursday that the deaths were due to infections caused by poor sanitary conditions and negligence at Ankara's Zekai Tahir Burak maternity hospital.
The hospital has denied the allegations, saying most of the babies died from complications related to premature delivery.
The Health Ministry launched an investigation into the deaths of 49 newborn babies in the hospital in July and said the findings indicated that infections in the babies combined with a shortage of personnel led to most of deaths.
�The commission's statement isn't satisfactory to explain such a high number of deaths,� said Kemal Yılmaz, Secretary General of the SES. �The commission making a verbal statement instead of a written one is interesting. The statement is far from explaining the reasons of the deaths and is solely aimed at relieving the effects of reactions.�
�The statement shows the incidents as normal,� he said.
Yılmaz said the Health Ministry should code the names and surnames of the newborns lying in the newborn unit between July 1 and Aug. 3 and investigate a number of questions, including the birth dates and hours; birth weight and height; diagnosis and reason for hospitalization; cause of death; details about the pathogen factors (if the reason is infection); death dates; the hospitalization of newborns day by day; number of doctors and nurses between the indicated dates and the required number of personnel. He also said the question on whether the hospital infection of klebsiella could lead to an epidemic.
Yılmaz said the investigation team detected an infection in the hospital but the responsible institution was unknown.
�Which institution is responsible for the infant deaths? The Health Ministry or the hospital? The ministry didn't take any responsibility on the matter,� he said.
Yılmaz also criticized the hospital management for handing over the body of a newborn to his father in a cardboard box. �The hospital is responsible for the situation. The bodies can't be transferred without a coffin. This is absolutely prohibited. The hospital has to have a coffin.�