NEW DELHI: In a review meeting with states on the status of oxygen equipment, the Centre on Wednesday pulled up some of them for the delay in dispatching crucial medical devices to districts and not making them functional yet in a large number of health facilities.
The meeting comes amid a looming threat of a surge in Covid infections, fuelled by the omicron variant.
The review included oxygen PSA plants, liquid medical oxygen plants, oxygen concentrators, medical gas pipeline systems.
The Union Health Ministry also instructed representatives from the states to schedule and conduct mock drills of all installed and commissioned PSA plants to ensure that they are in fully operational status so that the oxygen with the required quantity, pressure and purity reaches the intended patients at their bedside.
So far, a total of 3236 PSA plants have been installed in the country from various sources with a total commissioned oxygen capacity of 3783 MT. In addition, 1,14,000 oxygen concentrators are also provided to states with the funds from PM CARES and Emergency Covid Response Package-II.
Union health secretary Rajesh Bhushan pointed out that ECRP-II funds have been sanctioned to states for the installation of 958 LMO storage tanks and medical gas pipeline systems in 1374 hospitals.
States were, therefore, advised to utilize this opportunity to enhance domestic oxygen production capacity and ensure the completion, installation and commissioning of medical gas pipelines in government hospitals expeditiously.
Bhushan also urged states to review and monitor the status of the devices on a daily basis to ensure that the gap between the equipment and systems delivered to the districts and installed at the healthcare facilities is reduced to zero.
The Centre also nudged state nodal officers to streamline coordination with agencies such as Defence Research and Development Organization, HLL Infra Tech Services Limited and Central Medical Services Society among others for resolution of electricity-related and site-related issues for ensuring quick operationalization of the entire medical oxygen supply infrastructure supplied to them.
The government also said that it is conducting comprehensive training programmes to build and enhance the capacities of technicians and clinicians for the operation and maintenance of the PSA plants and other medical oxygen-related infrastructure.