Nearly 16k deaths in GMCH in two & half hears: RTI

Nagpur: Nearly 16,000 deaths took place in the Government Medical College and Hospital (GMCH) in the last two and half years according to an RTI query. It includes around 3,205 children below 12 years.
Even combined figures of neonatal and maternal deaths are at 1,102 in the same period while about 258 dog bite and rabies patients were admitted. Of them, about 41 succumbed to dog bite injuries. About 487 deaths took place due to tuberculosis (TB) while 186 succumbed to cancer from January 1, 2016 to September 30 this year.

If these figures of high number of deaths are taken into account, it comes out to about 16 deaths per day at one of Asia’s biggest hospital.

The information regarding number of deaths in the GMCH from January 1, 2016 to September 30 this year was sought by RTI activist Abhay Kolarkar. He also asked on number of patients admitted in the in-patient department (IPD) and out patient department (OPD) in GMCH which is flocked by the large number of citizens, not only from Nagpur but also from the parts of Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh and Central India.

GMCH dean Dr Abhimanyu Niswade refused to answer TOI’s queries on large number of deaths taking place in the GMCH in absence of adequate manpower and equipment. He refused to comment on any of the issues pertaining to GMCH.

The RTI reply further revealed that for over a year, 11 equipment worth over Rs1 lakh each are non-functioning, including CT scan machines worth over Rs2.29 crore and digital angiography machine worth Rs1.25 crore for want of repairs. The GMCH received substantial funds towards purchase of medicines and managed to spend entire amount in this period of two and half years.

According to Kolarkar, all these machines are vital for accurately diagnosing deadly diseases and prescribing right treatment to the patients with a view to save their precious lives. “Same machines available in private hospital charges exorbitant fees from the patients, which are out of bounds for a majority of them, leave aside the poor. But the GMCH authorities hardly care about them. Even the state government is also responsible for the mess,” Kolarkar said.

He lamented that crores of taxpayers’ money was being spent on purchasing such costly equipment and once those stopped working due to technical snags, no one cares to repair them.

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