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Newborn dies in India state hospital after bribe-seeking nurse refuses to help

A newborn died in a government hospital in India Sunday after a nurse who had demanded a bribe allegedly refused to assist the mother during labor.

The death was reported at the Kama government hospital in Rajasthan’s Bharatpur district.

Madira Devi brought her daughter-in-law Manju, 25, to the hospital Saturday night for delivery, the Hindustan Times said.

When Manju went into labor, Devi asked the duty nurse, Urmila, for help.

“But the nurse demanded money and refused to attend to Manju,” the mother-in-law alleged.

Manju delivered a baby girl without help. “Unfortunately, the newborn fell on the floor and died instantly,” the Hindustan Times said.

After news of the incident spread, a crowd gathered outside the hospital. Protesters demanded action against the nurse.

In September, a nine-year-old boy died at a government hospital in the northern India state of Bihar after being fitted with an empty oxygen cylinder allegedly because his family wasn’t able to pay a Rs100 ($1.64) bribe.

The Hindustan Times said another newborn death was reported in a maternity hospital in May after hospital staff demanded money to treat a woman in labor.

After Sunday’s death, the director of the Bharatpur district hospital, Ravi Jain, ordered action against the nurse.

“[T]he nurse has been relieved from the duty and sent to Bharatpur while the duty in-charge [nurse] has also been relieved,” a hospital administrator said. “Prima facie, the case involved demand of money. An inquiry has been initiated into the matter,” he said.


Richard L. Cassin is the publisher and editor of the FCPA Blog. He can be contacted here.

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