Nanded (Maharashtra): In a heart-wrenching incident, 24 patients, including 12 newborns, lost their lives at the Shankarrao Chavan Government Hospital in Nanded due to a severe shortage of medicines and staff on Monday. The situation worsened as an additional 70 children found themselves in critical condition, highlighting the dire state of healthcare facilities in the region.
The tragedy deepened with another shocking turn of events at Nanded's Government Medical College Hospital. Seven more lives including four children lost their lives until Tuesday morning, bringing the death toll to a staggering 31. Former Chief Minister Ashok Chavan, expressing his anguish on social media, demanded accountability from the state government. He emphasized the need for a thorough investigation to determine the responsible parties.
Hospital's Dean Denies Medical Shortage
Dr. Shyamrao Wakode, Dean of Govt Medical College Nanded, revealed the grim details of the fatalities. Twelve newborns and eight elderly patients between 70-80 years old were among the deceased, suffering from various ailments such as diabetes, liver failure and kidney failure.
Dr. Wakode clarified that while there was no shortage of medical professionals or medicines, the patients' bodies did not respond to the treatments provided, leading to the tragic outcomes.
Dr. Wakode shed light on the challenges faced by the hospital administration. Despite advance payments made to the state government-owned Haffkine Institute in Mumbai, the necessary medicines did not arrive. Locally purchased medicines proved inadequate, exacerbating the crisis. The hospital, functioning as a tertiary-level care center, struggled to procure essential medicines for patients arriving from distant places, citing budget constraints and operational issues.
Government Response and Urgent Inquiry
In response to the crisis, Medical Education Minister Hasan Mushrif announced the formation of an inquiry committee to investigate the incident thoroughly.
While adequate staff was assured, former CM Ashok Chavan, highlighted the shortage of nursing and medical personnel, malfunctioning equipment, and non-operational departments as grave concerns.
Reflecting on Past Tragedies
This incident echoes a similar tragedy that occurred less than two months ago at Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Hospital in Kalwa, Thane, where 18 patients lost their lives within 24 hours due to various complications. The recurring pattern of healthcare failures emphasizes the urgent need for comprehensive reforms to prevent such devastating occurrences in the future. Chief Minister Eknath Shinde acknowledged the unfortunate events and pledged to take necessary actions, underscoring the critical need for immediate intervention and systemic changes in the healthcare sector.