Maharashtra: Nanded deaths were not due to shortage of medicine, says CM Shinde

Under severe attack from the Opposition, the state cabinet expressed concerns over the multiple deaths that occurred in 24 hours in a government medical college in Nanded. Chief Minister Eknath Shinde told media persons after the meeting that the tragedy was being probed, but denied the charge that a shortage of medicine caused the deaths of several people, including newborn babies.

“We sought details from the secretary. There was no shortage of medicines. In fact, Rs 12 crore had already been approved for purchasing medicine,” said Shinde, adding that some old patients had been suffering from heart ailments. Ministers Girish Mahajan and Hasan Mushrif, who is in charge of the medical education department that runs the medical college and the hospital attached, reached Nanded to review the situation on Tuesday.

Hosp deaths discussed

Some 18 deaths that occurred at Chhatrapati Sambhaji Nagar’s Ghati hospital in a short time earlier this week were also discussed by the ministers. Notably, in August, 17 people died in 24 hours at Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Hospital in Kalwa. Following that, a total of 43 patients died in the past two days at Shankarrao Chavan Government Hospital in Nanded and Ghati hospital. Alarmed by the reports, Union Minister of State for Health Bharati Pawar asked the Nanded medical college administration to submit reports to her.

Oppn wants resignations

The Opposition demanded the resignation of the CM and DyCMs Devendra Fadnavis and Ajit Pawar, Health Minister Tanaji Sawant and Mushrif. It also pointed out that 43 patients had died in Nanded and Chhatrapati Sambhaji Nagar. Former CM and Nanded resident Ashok Chavan posted on X that another four patients had died on Tuesday in the Nanded hospital, taking the toll to 35.

State Congress president Nana Patole said the deaths amounted to murders and the government should be booked for culpable homicide. “Due to the negligence of the BJP-led government, state government hospitals have become death traps. Was the medicine procurement delayed for a 40 per cent commission?” asked Patole.

Mumbai Regional Congress Committee (MRCC) chief Varsha Gaikwad said, “These are serious incidents. It seems the government health system itself is on a ventilator. This is sheer inaction on the part of the Shinde government. As a result, the ministers should tender their resignation and claim responsibility for these unfortunate deaths.” Opposition leader in the Legislative Council Ambadas Danve demanded to know the delay in purchasing medicine despite the availability of funds.

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