The Gujarat government on Wednesday told the Legislative Assembly that over 1,000 children died at the Adani Foundation-run GK General Hospital in Bhuj in the last five years, PTI reported. The deaths were due to various illnesses.

According to the hospital’s website, it is an initiative of Gujarat Adani Institute of Medical Sciences, a public-private partnership between Adani Education and Research Foundation and the state government.

The number of children who died at the hospital was 188 in 2014-’15 and 187 the next year. It grew to 208 in 2016-’17, and further to 276 in the year after that. In 2018-’19 so far, 159 children have died, Deputy Chief Minister Nitin Patel said in response to a question by a Congress MLA.

Patel handles the state’s health ministry portfolio.

A panel formed in May last year to study the deaths found several reasons for the deaths, including serious complications among prematurely born babies, infectious diseases, respiratory complications, birth asphyxia and sepsis, Patel said. He claimed that the hospital followed “set protocols and standard guidelines” while providing treatment.

In August 2017, nearly 70 children died at Baba Raghav Das Medical College and Hospital in Uttar Pradesh’s Gorakhpur. Although many alleged that the children had died after oxygen supply at the hospital was disrupted because of lack of payment, the Uttar Pradesh government had dismissed this claim.

The same month, 52 children died at the Mahatma Gandhi Memorial Medical College Hospital in Jamshedpur. The hospital superintendent blamed malnutrition for the deaths.

‘87% of newborns treated discharged successfully’: Adani Group

The Adani Group said in a statement on Friday that 87% newborns treated at its hospital were discharged successfully. “We have qualified doctors to give the best treatment possible and we will continue to work with the government to upgrade the facility,” it added.

The group, in a tweet, linked to an article that claimed that the Infant Mortality Rate at the facility has dropped from 21% in 2014-’15 to 14% in 2018-’19. The report cited figures from the government data available on Sick Newborn Care Unit website.