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In this editorial, Mr. Nair discusses a tragic incident at a government hospital in Nanded, where 35 lives were lost, including 15 infants. The death toll at Dr. Shankarrao Chavan Government Medical College and Hospital in Nanded increased from 24 on Monday to 35 on Tuesday, with 16 infants and 19 adults among the casualties. Among the infants who died were twin boys born underweight on Sunday, and they passed away on Monday. The Medical Education Minister, Hasan Mushrif, visited the hospital on Tuesday and, following discussions with doctors and administrative staff, acknowledged that a shortage of doctors was a contributing factor to the deaths. He mentioned that the government is planning to address this shortfall by hiring doctors on a contract basis until the vacant positions are filled through regular recruitment. In another incident, 14 deaths were reported at the Government Medical College and Hospital in Sambhaji Nagar, including two infants. However, the hospital superintendent, Dr. Vijay Kalyankar, stated that these deaths were not due to a lack of manpower or medicines. Union Minister of State for Health, Bharti Pawar, has called for a report on the deaths in both hospitals and expressed her condolences, promising further action after receiving a detailed report. Chief Minister Eknath Shinde has pledged a government investigation into the Nanded incident and vowed to hold the responsible parties accountable. During his visit to Nanded, Mushrif was accompanied by Guardian Minister Girish Mahajan, former CM and MLA Ashok Chavan, and MP Pratap Chikhalikar. After the meeting, Mushrif indicated that he would raise concerns about the state of medical colleges and hospitals in the state, not limited to Nanded, at the next cabinet meeting. At a press conference, Mushrif outlined the corrective actions his department intends to take to address and improve the situation. These measures include hiring doctors on contract, seeking assistance from doctors in other hospitals, and enlisting the help of private doctors. The government has also issued orders to expedite the recruitment of nurses and sanitation workers and explore options like outsourcing for filling class four positions.
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