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Investigation into NSW baby death to begin

AAP logoAAP 27/07/2016

The NSW government's investigation into the death of a newborn baby boy at a Sydney hospital will begin on Friday following revelations he was mistakenly given nitrous oxide instead of oxygen.

The investigation will be led by obstetrician and gynaecologist Dr Michael Nicholl, who heads a division within the Northern Sydney Health District, despite Labor's call for an independent parliamentary inquiry.

Dr Nicholl will investigate the circumstances leading up to the death of baby John Ghanam - who was given the nitrous oxide at Bankstown-Lidcombe Hospital on July 13 - a month after the same error left a newborn girl with suspected brain damage.

"Dr Nicholl has extensive experience in the public and private sectors in NSW," NSW Health chief health officer Dr Kerry Chant said in a statement on Wednesday afternoon.

His team will include an engineer, experienced anaesthetist, paediatrician and capital works commissioning expert.

Health Minister Jillian Skinner has confirmed both sets of parents will be compensated, with a one-off compensation for the parents of the baby boy.

But Labor has rejected the government's investigations and insisted on a parliamentary inquiry.

"An independent parliamentary committee is one of the few options available to get information about the events at Bankstown-Lidcombe hospital," Opposition Leader Luke Foley said on Wednesday.

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