Bombay High Court calls hospital conditions in Maharashtra Unacceptable [4.10.2023]

The Bombay High Court has taken notice of dire conditions in two hospitals in Maharashtra, particularly at a facility in Nanded where 31 deaths, including 16 children, were recorded within 72 hours. The court has demanded detailed information regarding budgetary allocations and issued a stern warning to the state, emphasising that if a lack of manpower or medicines caused these deaths, such negligence would not be tolerated.

The bench, led by Chief Justice DK Upadhyaya, has instructed that these details must be submitted by Friday. This action comes after an advocate, Mohit Khanna, raised the issue, prompting the court to act on its own accord. Khanna had highlighted 18 fatalities, including infants, at a government hospital in Chhatrapati Sambhajinagar (formerly Aurangabad).

The shocking conditions at Dr Shankarrao Chavan Government Medical College and Hospital in Nanded revealed that pigs roamed freely on the premises, raising concerns about hygiene and cleanliness. Patients' relatives were observed performing chores amidst unsanitary conditions, and there were visible signs of neglect, including clogged drains and litter strewn around.

In response, Chief Minister Eknath Shinde assured that his government was taking the deaths seriously, ordering an inquiry and pledging appropriate action. However, the High Court's intervention underscores the urgency of addressing these issues.

The court's decision to intervene highlights the critical need for immediate improvements in healthcare facilities, ensuring the safety and well-being of patients.

Last week, civic authorities ordered a structural audit of a different hospital, the Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Hospital in Kalwa in Thane, where 18 patients died in a 24-hour period on August 12 and 13, according to a report by PTI.

A meeting chaired by Thane Municipal Corporation Chief Abhijit Bangar ordered structural improvements, including increasing bed capacity, making the outpatient department more comfortable, carrying out structural improvements, decentralising overcrowded departments, and maximising doctors' time.

Work on the improvement of the hostel is likely to be completed by October 20, while work on the medical college building will take another five months, the release quoted the commissioner as saying.

05 Oct 2023