24 Deaths in 24 Hours: Nanded Hospital Crisis

A hospital in Nanded, Maharashtra, saw 24 deaths in 24 hours, sparking controversy over medicine and staff shortages.

Twelve newborn babies (6 male and 6 female) and twelve adults died within 24 hours at a state-run hospital in Nanded, Maharashtra. The hospital dean attributed the deaths to a shortage of medicines and hospital staff. Of the 24 deaths, 12 adults had various ailments, primarily snake bites. The hospital serves as a tertiary-level care center and is the only one within a 70 to 80-kilometer radius. Budget constraints were cited as a challenge due to the high number of patients coming from distant places. The hospital usually purchases medicines from the Haffkine Institute, but this arrangement reportedly didn't work out. Refuting the dean's claims that there was a shortage of medicine and funds, the hospital, in a press release, said: "Essential medicines are available in the hospital. The hospital has ? 12 crore in funds. For this financial year, ? 4 crore has been approved. Other patients are being treated as necessary."

A committee was formed to investigate the deaths, and the Chief Minister promised action. The Opposition criticized the state government and demanded accountability for the deaths. This incident occurred shortly after 18 patients died in 24 hours at another hospital in Thane due to various health complications, leading to the transfer of non-critical patients to a nearby Civil Hospital. Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) chief Sharad Pawar condoled the death of the 24 people and said that such an incident shows the failure of the government systems. Citing a similar incident that took place two months ago in Kalwa, Thane where 18 patients died in 24 hours in August at the Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Hospital. Twelve of them were above the age of 50. Pawar posted on X, “…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.” 

The Congress on Monday slammed the State government over the 24 deaths in as many hours at Nanded’s government hospital. Senior party leader Rahul Gandhi alleged that the BJP government spends crores of rupees on publicity but no money is spent on children’s medicines.

The GMCH Dean mentioned that staff transfers, especially nurses, caused problems at the hospital. This hospital is a high-level one, so patients come from far away. They often receive urgent and very sick patients.