‘This is murder’: Opposition slams Eknath government as 12 infants die at Maharashtra's Nanded hospital

Oct 03, 2023 06:07 AM IST

Nanded Hospital Tragedy News: Twenty-four deaths, including that of 12 infants, have been reported in the last 24 hours at Nanded hospital in Maharashtra.

Opposition leaders, including Sharad Pawar and Rahul Gandhi, have hit out at the Eknath Shinde government over 24 deaths in as many hours at a government hospital in Maharashtra's Nanded with Priyanka Chaturvedi describing the incident as a “murder due to absolute negligence”.

Priyanka Chaturvedi of Shiv Sena (UBT), Congress leader Rahul Gandhi and NCP chief Sharad Pawar.
Priyanka Chaturvedi of Shiv Sena (UBT), Congress leader Rahul Gandhi and NCP chief Sharad Pawar.

Twenty-four deaths, including that of 12 infants, have been reported in the last 24 hours from Shankarao Chavan Government Medical College and Hospital in Nanded, news agency PTI reported. A three-member expert committee has been set up to probe the incident, an official told PTI.

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Sharad Pawar of the Nationalist Congress Party said the incident highlights the failure of government systems and called for a serious response to ensure the safety of patients in the future.

“The unfortunate incident of death of 24 people including 12 newborns in 24 hours in a government hospital in Nanded is literally shocking," Pawar wrote on social media X, formally Twitter.

The incident was reported at Shankarao Chavan Government Medical College and Hospital in Nanded due to the alleged scarcity of medicines.

Recalling a similar incident in which 18 people died in Kalwa Hospital of Thane Municipal Corporation, Pawar said, "Just two months ago, there was an unfortunate incident where 18 people died in a single night in Kalwa Hospital of Thane Municipal Corporation. However, due to not taking this incident seriously, such a very serious incident was repeated in the government hospital in Nanded. This shows the failure of government systems.”

The NCP also urged the Shinde government to take immediate and concrete steps to prevent such incidents from recurring, emphasizing the need to save the lives of innocent patients.

“At least considering the seriousness of these unfortunate incidents, the state government needs to ensure that concrete steps are taken so that these incidents are not repeated and the lives of innocent patients are saved,” Pawar said.

Congress leader Rahul Gandhi, in a post on X, said the news of the death is extremely saddening and expressed his deepest condolences to all the bereaved families.

"The BJP government spends thousands of crores of rupees on its publicity, but there is no money for medicines for children? In the eyes of the BJP, the lives of the poor have no value," he alleged.

The party general secretary Jairam Ramesh asked Modi to break his "silence" on the incident. In a post in Hindi on X, Priyanka Gandhi said she received the "sad news" of the death of 24 patients, including 12 infants, due to a shortage of medicines from Maharashtra.

"May God grant peace to the departed souls. My deepest condolences to the bereaved families," she said.

"Strict action should be taken against those responsible and compensation should be given to the affected families," she added.

In a post on X, the Congress said this is a very serious issue. "Our condolences to the families of the deceased. May God give them the strength to bear this sorrow," it said.

Priyanka Chaturvedi of Shiv Sena (UBT) said, “This is shameful, please don’t call them deaths, this is murder due to absolute negligence on the part of the unconstitutional state government. They are so busy planning influencer events or foreign trips that they have forgotten their basic job is to serve the state.”

Speaking on the issue, Congress leader and former chief minister Ashok Chavan said the Shinde government must make arrangements for medical staff as well as funds for the Nanded GMCH on priority.

Chavan said the hospital has 500 beds but some 1,200 patients are admitted at present.

The hospital has received 12 crore funding in this year's District Planning Development Committee (DPDC), while the state government has also sanctioned 4 crore additional funds, the statement from the collectorate said.

The dean has also said posts continue to remain vacant after the transfer of some nurses, while there is also a shortage of medical officers, the Congress leader claimed.

What did Nanded hospital say?

Dean Dr SR Wakode of Dr Shankarrao Chavan Government Medical College and Hospital told reporters the 12 infants comprise six males and six females, adding that most were in the 0-3 day age group and had "very low weight".

"There are 142 admissions in the paediatric department, of which 42 are still critical. Oxygen as well as ventilator facilities are there. The patients are from neighbouring districts, including Hingoli, Parbhani and Washim. Some are from villages in neighbouring Telangana," he said.

As per the official statement issued by Nanded district collectorate, between September 30 and October 1, 24 deaths have been reported.

"Among the 12 adults who lost their lives, five were male and seven female. Four adults had heart-related ailments, one was suffering from an unknown poisoning, one had a liver issue, two were kidney patients, and one case was of complications during pregnancy. There were three accident cases," it said.

Among the deceased infants, four were brought to the hospital at the last stage, the collectorate statement said.

In the last two days, the hospital has received more patients from the rural parts as well as from distant places who are in serious condition, the statement said.

(With inputs from PTI)

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