Maharashtra hospital deaths: Congress demands probe, Kharge slams State health apparatus

Former party chief Rahul Gandhi also alleged why there was no money for children's medicines while the BJP government spends crores of rupees on publicity

October 03, 2023 10:17 am | Updated 10:35 am IST - New Delhi

 Congress President Mallikarjun Kharge. File.

Congress President Mallikarjun Kharge. File. | Photo Credit: SUSHIL KUMAR VERMA

The Congress on October 3 demanded a thorough investigation into 24 deaths at a government hospital in Maharashtra's Nanded with party chief Mallikarjun Kharge raising questions on the State Government's health system.

Twenty-four deaths, including that of 12 infants, were reported between September 30 and October 1 in a government hospital in Nanded, a top Maharashtra health official said on Monday.

In a post in Hindi on X (formerly, Twitter), Mr. Kharge expressed his concern over the deaths.

"It is said that these patients died due to lack of medicines and treatment. A similar incident took place in a government hospital in Thane in August 2023 in which 18 patients lost their lives," Mr. Kharge said.

"Our deepest condolences to the families of the victims. Such incidents taking place repeatedly have raised a question mark on the health system of the state government," the Congress chief said, hitting out at the BJP-Shiv Sena government in Maharashtra.

"We demand a thorough investigation so that the culprits of this negligence are given strict punishment by the judiciary," he said.

Former party chief Rahul Gandhi Monday night alleged why there was no money for children's medicines while the BJP government spends crores of rupees on publicity.

Congress general secretary Priyanka Gandhi Vadra also demanded strict action against those responsible for the inordinate number of deaths and compensation for the affected families.

In a post on X, Rahul Gandhi expressed his grief at the news of the deaths and offered his condolences to 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.

Congress general secretary Jairam Ramesh also asked Mr. Modi to break his "silence" on the incident.

In a post in Hindi on X on Monday, Priyanka Gandhi said "May God grant peace to the departed souls. My deepest condolences to the bereaved families." "Strict action should be taken against those responsible and compensation should be given to the affected families," she said.

Dr Dilip Mhaisekar, Director of Medical Education and Research in Maharashtra, told PTI, "In the last 24 hours, 24 deaths have been reported at Nanded Government Hospital and Medical College (GMCH). Out of these, 12 are infants who were referred here by some local private hospitals. The remaining deaths are of adults from various causes." Dean Dr S.R. Wakode of Dr Shankarrao Chavan Government Medical College and Hospital told reporters the 12 infants comprised six males and six females.

Most of them were in the 0-3 day age group and had "very low weight," he said.

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