NEW DELHI: At a time when the Centre has been asserting that there is absolutely ‘no shortage’ of medical oxygen, vital in the treatment of coronavirus, at the national level, many private hospitals have a different story to tell. Dharamveer Solanki Hospital in Delhi’s Rohini, a 50-bedded facility which is also having Covid-19 patients has complained of lack of oxygen supply.
“Firstly, the cost of cylinders have gone up. Earlier a cylinder would cost Rs 350, now I am paying Rs 590. But atleast it was available. Last night I had to call many friends for an oxygen cylinder and was ble to arrange two for patients. How will I arrange cylinders for tonight, because the patients here are on heavy oxygen supply,” said Dr Pankaj Solanki, who runs the hospital.
In Delhi, the AAP-led government had ordered that the process of procuring cylinders and concentrators in the Covid facilities will be done by the administration. “The government had sent us an email assuring that it will be done by them and provided us with contact numbers from whom we can get the supply as and when required.
They would ask for daily data if any requirement is needed and there is a dedicated website for it. I did fill it up as required but no response. I can manage for a day, but if there is any urgency then it is difficult. What about the rest of the days,” he added. According to reports, there is an almost 20 times jump in the number of patients needing oxygen support over the last 3 months.
A private hospital owner, who preferred to be anonymous stated that there has been a reduction in supply of liquid oxygen to the suppliers who are supposed to distribute it to various hospitals. “Prices are bound to go up,” he added. Attempts to get answers from the State Health Department on the status of oxygen availability went unanswered.