60 % Water Cuts in Hospitals, Fear of Shut Down in May: Marathwada

Latur’s 600-bed Civil Hospital Reels Under Water Cuts due to Drought, Private Clinics also Affected

Acute water cuts due to the crippling drought in the Marathwada region of Maharashtra have put  tremendous burden and pressure on Latur’s 600-bed Civil Hospital that is now catering to a one hundred per cent rise in normal and emergency cases with patients preferring government facilities to the more expensive private ones. With the situation at a crisis level already in April, there is a real worry that in the latter part of May health services may have to be shut down, or curtailed.

“The average normal demand for water in our hospital is 1 to 1.25 lakh litres,” Dr Shailendra Chauhan, resident Medical Officer told Sabrangindia, “ Due to the cuts the Mahanagarpalika can only give us 30-40,000 litres per day. This is when pressure on our facilities is increasing. We normally catered to 30-35 normal deliveries every day; this figure has shot up to 50-60. Caesarian operations that averaged 10 a day are now up to 20.”

This means greater pressure on the 600-bed hospital that remains the main source for the region. The district does not have a hospital leaving this the major hospital for patients to turn to.

“This cut on the normal quota of water supply due to the drought, made more acute by increasing pressure of patients has forced us to cut the water supply by tap. Only limited and control water is supplied in drums, to the patients, “added the doctor.

This inevitably has had an impact on the overall cleanliness and while things are currently in control with private trusts and others chipping in by supplying water from tankers, there is a deep apprehension as to how the month of May will turn out. “Emergency road accidents, regular deliveries these are constants; how we will cope with these towards the latter half of May causes great concern. We just hope that we will not be forced to close down,” he adds on a somber note.

The Latur Civil Hpsital has 600 beds and due to acute water shortage in the Marathwada region is facing pressure of medical cases, normal and emergencies all being diverted to it as patients –faced with a huge economic crunch due to crippling drought—cannot anymore access the fancier and more expensive private medical facilities. There are 12 to 15 such in Latur.

The Latur Civil Hospital has a Staff of 425 Post Graduate Medical Students and 125 full-fledged Lectures/Associate Professors. The Nursing Staff is also vast numbering at 400-450. This entire team is currently under tremendous pressure in regular touch with the government administration and private organizations to alleviate the crisis.

On April 7, the Economic Times had reported that the situation is so grim that private doctors in the region are finding it tough to treat patients and are putting off surgeries. Many of these are being diverted to the government civil hospital that is facing a crush and burden.

There is presently an acute shortage of water as the Manjra dam and Dhanegaon river that used to supply water to the district has gone dry doctors. Bore wells within a 20-30 kilometres radius of Latur have run completely dry.

While basic medical services and access to basic drinking water threatens many ares of the state, including urban centres, Maharashtra will still go ahead and use huge quantities (nearly 60 lakh litres) of water on 20 IPL matches at three venues in the state between April and May 2016.



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