Bhubaneswar, Sep 16 (IANS) The government medical colleges and hospitals did not conduct a single review meeting to identify the cause of neonatal deaths in Odisha in the last three years, a Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) report said on Saturday.

According to the report, though the neonatal mortality rate (37 per thousand) of the state was the highest in the country, the government medical colleges and hospitals (GMCH) had not conducted any death review to identify the causes of death during 2013-16.

There were 16,651 deaths of neonatal and paediatric patients in the test-checked government medical colleges and hospitals and district headquarter hospitals during 2013-16, the report said.

The CAG report on the general and social sector for the year ended March 2016 was tabled in the Odisha Assembly on Saturday.

It said that the state government did not ensure the sitting of the committee at regular intervals.

The objective of the review is to analyse the circumstances which led to the death of a patient, to identify the reasons and to take remedial measures.

The committee was constituted in August 1984 to review the causes of death occurring in the government medical colleges, which was to meet regularly at least once a month and submit the proceedings to the Directorate of Medical Education and Training (DMET).

Subsequently, the health department directed (September 2013) clinical departments of all GMCH to conduct death review once in a month.

During 2013-16, 427 neonates out of 27,804 babies born in sampled hospitals, succumbed to infectious diseases like sepsis, pneumonia, etc.

According to the report, overcrowding of wards, unlimited entry of attendants and inadequate training to health personnel were the causes of infectious diseases.

This is published unedited from the IANS feed.