Police have registered an FIR against the acting dean and a doctor of a government hospital in Maharashtra's Nanded district, where 31 patients died in 48 hours, on the charge of culpable homicide not amounting to murder, an official said on Thursday.
The case was lodged against Dr Shankarrao Chavan Government Medical College and Hospital's acting dean S R Wakode and a head paediatrician, following a complaint by a person in connection with the death of his daughter and her newborn child at the facility, he said.
They were booked under Indian Penal Code sections 304 (culpable homicide not amounting to murder) and 34 (common intention), the official said.
As many as 31 deaths, including those of infants, were recorded at the hospital in 48 hours since September 30. Six more deaths were recorded at the facility from October 2 to 3, according to officials.
As per the FIR, 21-year-old pregnant woman Anjali was taken to the hospital at around 8 pm on September 30.
She delivered a baby girl at around 1 am on October 1. Doctors later said the mother and the child were fine, Anjali's father Kamaji Tompe said in the complaint.
Later in the morning, Anjali started bleeding and the baby was also not well, hence doctors asked the family members to get medicines, blood bag and other required items from outside.
When the items were brought, doctors were not present in the ward, Tompe claimed.
He further claimed in the complaint that Wakode deliberately made him sit and did not send a doctor or a staff nurse to check on Anjali.
"The doctors declared Anjali's baby dead and handed over the body to us at 6 am on October 2. Later, Anjali was declared dead at 10.30 am on October 4," the complaint said.
Tompe alleged that the dean deliberately did not let doctors treat Anjali. The doctors asked the family members to get medicines worth Rs 45,000 from outside, he said in the complaint.
He also claimed that many patients died in front of him due to lack of availability of doctors, nurses and medicines.
Wakode could not be contacted for a reaction in the matter.
Chief Minister Eknath Shinde on Tuesday said his government had taken the deaths at the Nanded hospital very seriously, and appropriate action would be taken after a detailed inquiry while denying that there were shortages of medicines and staff.
The Bombay High Court on Wednesday took suo motu cognizance of the deaths at two state-run hospitals in Nanded and Chhatrapati Sambhajinagar cities and noted that the reasons given by doctors citing the shortage of beds, staff, and essential medicines cannot be accepted.
The HC also sought details from the Maharashtra government.
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