A total of 59 deaths have been recorded in two Maharashtra government hospitals in the last 48 hours -- 35 in Shankarrao Chavan hospital in Nanded and 24 in Ghati hospital in Aurangabad.
Maharashtra chief minister Eknath Shinde took serious cognizance of the deaths in Nanded and Ghati and ordered a high-level inquiry. He denied the Opposition's allegations that the deaths in Nanded and Ghati took place due to shortage of medicines and unavailability of doctors.
“The guilty will be punished after the findings of the probe committee. We have taken serious cognizance of these incidents and sent a team of minister, secretary and officers to visit the hospitals in Nanded and Ghati in Aurangabad and submit a report,” Shinde said.
However, former Congress chief minister Ashok Chavan who comes from Nanded alleged that the deaths of 35 people including 16 infants was due to shortage of medicines and unavailability of medical staffers.
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“There are 70 other people in serious conditions. We came to know that medicine supply and recruitment of doctors has been stuck due to unknown reasons and that cost the lives of several people. The state government should fix the responsibility and improve the system,” he said.
Maharashtra Congress president Nana Patole alleged that the contract for medicine supply has been stuck as 40% commission has been demanded for the procurement of the medicines by the state public health department. He said earlier 17 people died in the Thane Municipal Corporation run civic hospital, but no lesson has been learnt so far from such tragedies.
“The public health system in the state is suffering from the disease of corruption and the entire system is on a ventilator. There aren't enough doctors and staff in government hospitals and there is also a shortage of medicines. The equipment in the hospitals is dysfunctional and lying idle. If this is the state of health services in major cities, one can only imagine the condition in rural hospitals. A culpable homicide case under IPC 302 should be filed against the state government," Patole demanded.
MNS chief Raj Thackeray also slammed the triple engine government, saying it has failed to provide public health to the common people.