MUMBAI: After the death of 10 newborns in a fire at Bhandara district hospital, Shiv Sena on Monday criticised the health care system of Maharashtra and the country at large and said India talks about being the fifth largest economic power in the world, but it is not even in the list of top 75 countries when it comes to healthcare and related services.
The party, through its mouthpiece Saamana, also accused the Bharatiya Janata Party of starting politics on the incident.
"Ten newborns died in the fire in the general hospital of Bhandara district of the state. Many of these babies did not even open their eyes after birth.
The parents of some children did not even see their babies alive...The incident has raised questions on the health care system of not just the state, but the entire country," it said.
Shiv Sena pointed out that the government hospital in Bhandara did not even have smoke detectors or fire extinguishers and the hospital staff was also missing at the time of the incident.
"Chief Minister Thackeray has ordered a high-level inquiry. The reason behind the fire will be investigated.
The government has ordered to audit the child care units of all other hospitals of the state. But this sleep is broken after the death of ten infants, is anyone sad? According to the Prime Minister, the Bhandara incident is heartbreaking. But the issue is not only with Bhandara, but the entire health system of the country is suffocating," the party said.
The party further said the health care system is given the lowest provision in both state and union budgets, and added, "This negligence has been paid by ten newborns of Bhandara Hospital."
Citing the World Health Organisation, Shiv Sena said there should be one doctor per 1,000 people, but in India, there is only one doctor on 12,000 people.
It said that there is a shortage of 4 lakh doctors and 25 lakh nurses in the country and in many areas of Maharashtra, people still have to walk many miles for first aid.
"Many pregnant women give birth on the way. The corpses have to be carried on bullock carts and handcarts. This should not be the case for the state that is called 'progressive' like Maharashtra," the party said and added that though children in Bhandara due to fire, but hundreds of children in Vidarbha region of the state, in Thane, and many tribal pads of North Maharashtra die due to malnutrition.
"As long as it does not stop, the words 'development' and 'progress' have no meaning," it stated further.
Accusing BJP of doing politics on the incident, Shiv Sena said, "The death of 10 infants is the responsibility of the government, but even those in power in the last five years cannot save their skin."
"This is the extent of shamelessness...Is not the development of the general hospital of Bhandara district in the development of Vidarbha? It is not right to do politics on this accident," the party said slamming BJP.