From expired license to unqualified doctors: What led to fall of Delhi Baby Care hospital?

The fire incident took place in Vivek Vihar police station area of ​​Shahdara district. On May 25, a fire was reported in the hospital at around 11.29 pm.

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The hospital in Delhi's Vivek Vihar, where at least seven newborns died after a massive fire, has a history of criminal nnegligence. The hospital is owned by Dr Naveen Khichi who is arrested now. According to Delhi Police, there were no arrangements to extinguish the fire in the baby care centre. There was no proper arrangement for entry and exit. Not only this, there was no emergency exit. At the time of the incident, BAMS doctors were on duty in the baby care unit, who were not qualified to take care of children.

License expired on March 31

The license issued by the Delhi government to the baby care center had expired on March 31, 2024. After the license expired, only 5 beds were allowed, but at the time of the incident, 12 children were admitted. Investigation revealed that Baby Care New Born Child Hospital has four branches, which include Vivek Vihar, Punjabi Bagh in Delhi and Faridabad, Gurugram. Baby Care Center owner Naveen Khinchi has done MD in Pediatric Medicine and lives in Paschim Vihar.

Delhi Police investigation has revealed that the permission of the nursing home had expired on March 31. The Health Department of Delhi Government gives this permission. That means the nursing home was being run illegally. The nursing home had permission for 5 beds but 25-30 children were being kept there. 12 children were rescued at the time of the accident. There should have been oxygen cylinders for 5 beds only, but after the accident, 32 oxygen cylinders were found in the nursing home. The nursing home did not even have NOC for fire.

12 children rescued

The fire incident took place in Vivek Vihar police station area of ​​Shahdara district. On May 25, a fire was reported in the hospital at around 11.29 pm. Police and fire brigade personnel reached the spot at Baby Care New Born Hospital (C-54, Vivek Vihar, Phase-1, Delhi), where a fire was seen in the two-storey building. With the help of fire brigade staff, 12 children were rescued from the nursing house. After the fire was extinguished, the hospital was inspected and burst oxygen cylinders were found there.

Case registered against accused

The rescued children were shifted to another hospital (East Delhi Advanced NICU, Vivek Vihar). Later, 7 dead children were sent to the mortuary of GTB Hospital. After that a case was registered under section 336/304A/34 of IPC and the accused was searched. Police staff, fire brigade staff and crime team also inspected the hospital closely. Investigation found that there was no fire extinguisher there. There was no emergency exit.

Shocking negligence exposed

  • Got posting of BAMS doctor. The entry gate was also not proper. After negligence was found, section 304/308 was also added.
  • DGHS of Delhi Government had issued license to Baby Care New Born Child Hospital. Its deadline had expired on 31 March 2024. That means the license had expired but the baby care center was being run in a fraudulent manner.
  • Even as per the expired license, only 5 beds were allowed, but at the time of the incident, 12 newborns were admitted in the hospital. These children were rescued. 20-25 beds were being kept in the nursing home.
  • Negligence was also being taken in newborn care. The doctors holding BAMS degree who were assigned the duty to treat the newborn baby were not qualified/competent.
  • There were no fire extinguishers installed in the hospital for emergency situations in case of fire.
  • There was no NOC for fire. Even the entry and exit gates were very narrow. There was no emergency exit in the hospital in case of any untoward incident.
  • A maximum of 10 oxygen cylinders may be required for a 5-bed hospital, but 32 oxygen cylinders were recovered from the spot. At the time of the accident, the fire spread due to the explosion of these cylinders.