ACTION ALERT! Even Money Does Not Make Them Accountable to Children: Children still die in India’s oldest Paediatric Hospital

Even money does not make them accountable to children
Children still die in India’s oldest Paediatric Hospital
The one and only one government hospital for children in the country supported by the Central Government with a budget of Rs. 55.40 Crore in the year 2012-13 is once again in news for miserable conditions, lack of ventilators, poor toilet and water facilities and most importantly for accounting for 17% of child deaths in the National Capital Territory of Delhi.
Kalawati Saran hospital was established on 17th March 1956 as a centre for excellence in paediatric care and research. It has the distinction of being one of the largest children’s hospitals in Asia. At the outset, it had only 50 beds. Gradually by 1994, the bed strength was increased to 350 and at present, the total number of beds is 370 .


a) 112142 deaths were registered in 2011 in Delhi, with the average number of deaths coming to 307. The average number of child deaths registered per day (below 14 years) was 35.  An RTI response suggests 10,000 deaths in last five years in Kalawati Saran Hospital, amounting to an average of 6 children per day.

b) Kalawati Saran Hospital has been consistently receiving funds from the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare. Despite this, the situation of children in this hospital becomes more outrageous.

c) Despite investments made on equipments, recent reports about 9 ventilators being dysfunctional calls for immediate inquiry. Last year, on 1 November 2011, a Tender notice for machinery and Equipment (N0: KSCH/ME/Purchase/21/11-12/) invited bids for 4 ventilators.  What happened next? Who is to ask?

d) According to an RTI response, in the year 2010-11, Kalawati Saran Children’s Hospital also failed to file its quarterly returns. ( ; accessed on 06-11-2012)

Kalawati Saran Hospital (In Rs. Crore)
2000-2001 15.88 13.26 12.31
2001-2002 14.25 13.32 13.78


14.36 14.50 15.02


14.70 15.08 15.41
2004-2005 17.25 17.25 18.23
2005-2006 18.07 18.07 19.06
2006-2007 21.94 21.82 21.31
2007-2008 20.45 22.55 22.84
2008-2009 27.50 40.77 35.08
2009-2010 39.50 43.77 45.01
2010-2011 45.26 52.91 46.29
2011-2012 50.08 50.08 NA
2012-2013 55.40 NA NA
If we look at the trends in allocation for last 10 years, in the year 2000-01, a total of 15.88 Crore were allocated to KSH which has increased by 248 per cent in 2012-13. In the last decade, in almost all the years, the expenditure is higher than the allocation amounting to an average overspending. The average expenditure incurred by Kalawati Saran Hospital from the year 2000-01 to 2010-11 was Rs. 24.03 Crore against the average allocation of Rs. 22.65 Crore during the same period. In fact in 2010-11, the mid-year revision in the allocation led to an increase in the budget for Kalawati Saran Hospital. But at the end of the year, this increased budget could not be utilized fully, thus reflecting an underspending.
While doctors feel the budget of Rs. 55.40 Crore for a hospital like Kalawati Saran is inadequate, the fact remains that even this does not reach the children it is meant for!