Bombay HC Calls For State Affidavit On Food Poisoning Patients Treated On Streets Outside Hospital In Buldhana

Bombay HC Calls For State Affidavit On Food Poisoning Patients Treated On Streets Outside Hospital In Buldhana

On Friday, Government pleader PP Kakade said preliminary reports indicate that on February 20 more than 200 persons took ill “after consuming prasad or something” from a temple.

Urvi MahajaniUpdated: Friday, February 23, 2024, 03:00 PM IST
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Bombay HC Calls For State Affidavit On Food Poisoning Patients Treated On Streets Outside Hospital In Buldhana |

Mumbai: Taking a serious note of food poisoning patients being treated on streets outside a hospital in Buldhana district due to shortage of beds, the Bombay High Court on Friday directed the state government to file an affidavit.

The court direction came after advocate Rohit Khanna pointed out news report to a bench of Chief Justice DK Upadhyaya and Justice Arif Doctor which stated that around 600 persons from a village in Lonar in Buldhana district, who suffered from food poisoning reportedly after consuming 'prasad' at a religious event held there on February 20, were treated on the streets outside the hospital. The news reports and videos show saline bottles were administered from ropes tied to trees.

Khanna was appointed as amicus curiae (friend of court) by the court last year when it took suo motu [on its own] cognisance of patients deaths at two state-run hospitals in Nanded and Sambhajinagar between September 30 and October 3, 2023. A batch of petitions too were filed raising concerns over the high number of deaths.

Details On Buldhana Tragedy

On Friday, Government pleader PP Kakade said preliminary reports indicate that on February 20 more than 200 persons took ill “after consuming prasad or something” from a temple. They were taken to rural hospitals. He said nearly 150 patients rush to a 30-bedded hospital. “There was a sudden influx. The situation was an emergency. Treatment was administered making some make-shift arrangements,” Kakade said. However, he emphasised that :” Medicine was there. Staff was there. It is a very small hospital.”

Kakade assured the court that the patients were immediately treated and were discharged the next day. "Their condition was not serious. We could not treat them inside the hospital and hence treated them outside,” Kakade added.

The court questioned what if some patient’s health had become serious. “How far is the district hospital from the place where this incident occurred? What if some patient suffered seriously and required urgent medicare?” the chief justice asked.

Kakade said that the nearest district hospital was approximately 100 kilometres away and assured that had any patient’s condition become serious, the patient would have been shifted there.

The bench directed Kakade to file an affidavit on behalf of the appropriate authority providing these details and kept the matter for further hearing after ten days.

Khanna referred to a recent Delhi High Court judgment where a committee was formed to suggest how infrastructure improvement can be made in rural and urban hospitals.

CJ remarked: “You can’t compare Delhi with Mumbai. What is the total population of Delhi?” However they asked Khanna to place the judgement on record on the next date of hearing.

Last year, some 31 patients died at Dr Shankarrao Chavan Government Medical College and Hospital in Nanded and 18 in Government Medical College and Hospital in Sambhajinagar. The HC had sought details including on sanctioned posts and vacant positions in medical, para-medical and non-medical posts. Two State health services departments red-flagged vacant posts and delay in receiving grants. The state has assured the court that it is taking steps to fill the vacant posts.

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