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Home > Mumbai > Mumbai News > Article > Maharashtra Fractures in states health system show ahead of budget

Maharashtra: Fractures in state’s health system show ahead of budget

Updated on: 23 February,2024 07:24 AM IST  |  Mumbai
Eshan Kalyanikar | eshan.kalyanikar@mid-day.com

200 patients in hinterland lie down on the road after emergency food poisoning

Maharashtra: Fractures in state’s health system show ahead of budget

Patients being treated on the road at Bibi Rural Hospital

Key Highlights

  1. Hospital crisis emerged as videos showed hundreds of patients treated on the road
  2. Staff at the hospital said that out of the total 200 patients discharged
  3. Villagers relied on the sole nearby hospital during a mass medical emergency

Ahead of the state budget, a hospital crisis emerged in Maharashtra as videos showed hundreds of patients treated on the road at Bibi Rural Hospital’s campus in Buldhana. Staff at the hospital said that out of the total 200 patients discharged, two patients, a 50-year-old woman with asthma and a man in his mid-30s, were referred to Jalna (50 km away) for specialised care. Villagers in Somthana and Khaperkheda, 1 km apart, relied on the sole nearby hospital during a mass medical emergency triggered by temple food consumption.


“We had to convince ambulances to come, but nobody listened. It was only after we informed the MLAs that people from both these villages would die in large numbers, that help came our way,” said Pratap Shinde, a resident of Somthana, 15 members of whose family had fallen sick. Khaperkheda resident Dadarao Snighade’s family first took him to a government hospital in Sultanpur, about 12 km away from his home. “It was shut. My vomiting would not stop. From there, we rushed to Bibi. This was around 10.30 pm. There was no bed available, and patients were made to lie on the road. Saline was hung up by a rope. There was one doctor and one nurse, others were private doctors.”


“The hospital is not designed to cater to such a large crowd at once. It is supposed to cater to only 30 patients at a time. There are three MBBS doctors, but it so happened that none of them were available last night,” said Vijay Bangale, a homoeopath. “At 9 pm, only 12 patients had arrived, and then one after the other, ambulances started rushing in, bringing a large crowd, taking the number to 150 in no time,” he added.


“Villagers, including myself, called in around 12-14 private and PHC doctors to treat patients. The following day, the hospital handled an influx, with the numbers reaching 200, and patients were discharged by Wednesday evening” explained Bangale. Dilip Rathod, a member of Somthana’s Gram Sabha, said, “The incident highlights decades of neglect in rural Maharashtra’s healthcare systems. Lonar has a hospital with capacity but insufficient resources, situated 30 km from our village. Shivnipisal’s primary health centre lacks resources and people lack trust. The only operational hospital was Bibi Hospital.”

Earlier this month, Jan Swasthya Abhiyan sent 1,300 postcards to Chief Minister Eknath Shinde, urging a doubling of the public health budget, filling vacant posts in government health institutions, and enforcing patient rights in private hospitals. Currently, Maharashtra allocates only 4.1 per cent of its budget to public health, the lowest among 28 states. Temple food samples have been sent to the lab for further testing, the results of which will be available in 15 days, said the district collector.

15
No of days for lab test results to arrive

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