Nanded Medical College deaths are only the tip of the iceberg!

Overstretched, under-resourced specialist hospitals bear the brunt of underlying health system crisis

Report of Jan Arogya Abhiyan fact finding visit, 6-7 October 2023

As you know recently there have been excessive numbers of deaths of patients in several tertiary hospitals in different parts of Maharashtra, which has been covered by the media. Among these incidents, the occurrence of 24 deaths in 24 hours on 1st October at Government Medical College, Nanded involved the largest number of mortalities, and was most highlighted.

Jan Arogya Abhiyan (JSA Maharashtra) responded by sending a fact-finding team to Nanded, to investigate the various factors and underlying causes related to these unusually large numbers of deaths observed in a tertiary referral hospital. The complete report based on this investigation, which is the product of efforts by numerous activists and health professionals associated with JAA, is attached. Hope that our more systemic enquiry might emphasise the critical health system issues which have been less noted until now, followed by wider discussion about the deepening public health system crisis in Maharashtra, which now seems to be reaching breaking point.

On the practical front, now Jan Arogya Abhiyan and Nanded based activists are organising an ‘Arogya Hakka Parishad’ (Health rights convention) at Nanded on 27th October (see poster below) where this report will be publicly discussed and action plans for further mobilisation to demand urgently required improvements in health services in Nanded will be worked out. This event will also mark the launching of a state-wide Right to Healthcare campaign in Maharashtra initiated by Jan Arogya Abhiyan, where similar events would be organised in many other districts across the state.

Comments and responses are welcome.

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