Maharashtra hospital deaths: drug body says only 10% of orders were placedtext_fields
Nanded: A pharmaceutical body has accused the authorities in Maharashtra of failing to procure an adequate supply of medicines for government hospitals, a situation that reportedly contributed to a tragic hospital incident in the state.
Haffkine Biopharmaceutical, the organisation responsible for supplying medicines to medical colleges and government hospitals, has allegedly placed a mere 12 orders this year. This number is significantly lower than the usual annual average of up to 2,000 orders, said Abhay Pandey, President of the All Food and Drug License Holders Foundation.
The explosive allegation comes in the wake of a heart-wrenching incident where 31 patients lost their lives within a span of 48 hours in a government hospital located in Nanded.
Abhay Pandey, while addressing this concerning situation, pointed out, "This year, Haffkine has provided only 10% of the medicines to the medical colleges of Maharashtra state against the demand, due to which there is a shortage of medicines in the medical colleges."
Haffkine Biopharmaceutical plays a pivotal role in meeting the medication demands of the region, contributing to approximately 70% of the total requirement.
The shortage of medicines in government hospitals and medical colleges has raised serious concerns about the healthcare system's ability to meet the medical needs of patients in Maharashtra. The tragic loss of lives in Nanded has added urgency to the need for swift and effective measures to address the medication supply issues in the state's healthcare facilities.
The hospital's dean attributed this tragic situation to a severe shortage of medicines and a deficit in hospital staff.
Among the twenty-four deaths recorded during the first 24 hours, twelve adults were battling various illnesses, with snakebites being a notable cause. The dean also pointed out the challenges posed by staff transfers and the surge in patient numbers.
Highlighting the crucial role of the hospital as a tertiary-level care centre, the only one within a 70 to 80 km radius, the dean explained that patients from distant areas rely on this facility for treatment. However, on certain days, the influx of patients strains the hospital's budget.
The dean mentioned the Haffkine Institute as the designated supplier of medicines, which unfortunately faced disruptions. Nevertheless, the hospital managed to procure medicines locally and provide them to patients.
Reacting to the tragic deaths, Chief Minister Eknath Shinde assured that inquiries would be conducted to determine the circumstances surrounding the incident, with appropriate action to follow.
Opposition parties in Maharashtra, on the other hand, launched a fierce attack on the state government, demanding accountability from the ruling coalition. They criticised the government for inadequate medical facilities, staff shortages, malfunctioning equipment, and overcrowded wards.
Former Chief Minister Ashok Chavan expressed deep concern about the loss of lives and called for immediate government intervention to address the situation. Supriya Sule, daughter of senior politician Sharad Pawar, held the ruling coalition responsible for the tragic loss of lives.
Vikas Lawande, spokesperson of the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP), also criticised the state government, placing blame for the deaths on a lack of medicine supplies.