A heartbreaking incident has come to light at a state-run hospital in Maharashtra’s Nanded, where twelve newborns and an equal number of adults lost their lives within a span of 24 hours. The hospital dean attributed these tragic deaths to a shortage of medicines and a shortage of hospital staff.
Among the 24 reported deaths in this time frame, 12 adults were found to be suffering from various ailments, with snakebites being a prominent cause, according to the dean of Nanded’s Shankarrao Chavan Government Hospital.
He stated, “We are a tertiary-level care center and the only such facility within a 70 to 80-kilometer radius, drawing patients from far-off locations. On certain days, the patient influx increases, creating budgetary challenges.”
The dean also highlighted difficulties in procuring medicines from an institute called Haffkine, which they are supposed to purchase from. Nevertheless, he emphasized that the hospital managed to secure medicines locally and provided them to patients.
However, the hospital released a statement refuting claims of medicine and fund shortages, asserting that essential medicines were available and there was a substantial fund reserve of ₹12 crore. They further clarified that ₹4 crore had been allocated for this financial year, and patients were receiving necessary treatment.
The tragic loss of lives has prompted Chief Minister Eknath Shinde to express condolences and announce that further information will be sought regarding the circumstances at the hospital. A committee has been formed to investigate the deaths, and Dr. Dilip Mhaisekar, Director of Medical Education and Research in Maharashtra, is personally reviewing the situation.
In response, the opposition in Maharashtra has criticized the government’s handling of the situation, calling for accountability. Former Chief Minister Ashok Chavan of the Congress party cited a lack of medical facilities, staff shortages, nurse transfers, malfunctioning equipment, and an overcrowded hospital, urging the government to take immediate action.