With several private hospitals in Delhi complaining about shortage of oxygen supply for the last six days, the Delhi government has appointed 15 DANICS officers for 125 hospitals who will coordinate with authorities about oxygen availability.
The order was issued hours after the Chief Secretary and other top government officials held a meeting with private hospitals to find a solution for the ongoing oxygen crisis.
The order issued by Delhi’s Special Secretary of Health and Family Welfare Udit Rai stated that these officers will visit the hospitals, be in touch with the management, and understand problems being faced, if any, with respect to oxygen availability.
“The officers should be the first point of contact for the allotted hospitals for all oxygen requirement related issues. Be constantly updated about the status of oxygen availability at each hospital. They should acquaint themselves with oxygen suppliers of their allotted hospitals and create a channel with them to follow-up and facilitate oxygen deliveries of allotted quantities by directly interacting with their representatives,” the order stated.
As per the order, each DANICS officer has been allotted a group of hospitals with which he/she will be coordinating for regular updates.
The order comes as a relief for hospitals who have been sending SOSes to the government over oxygen shortfall.
Dr SCL Gupta, director of Batra Hospital & Medical Research Centre, who attended the meeting, The supply is still erratic and we are always on edge, waiting for suppliers and authorities to respond to demands. During the meeting, we suggested to the officials that hospitals be provided a timeline of how oxygen will be supplied. This way, we can stay calm and continue with our actual work of patient care.”
Dr PK Bharadwaj, director of Saroj Super Speciality hospital, said: “It’s just a matter of hours and as compared to the last few days, we were able to get the supply in the nick of time. We received liquid medical oxygen supply at 4 pm on Sunday afternoon; the next stock will reach on Monday at 1 pm. We have suggested to the government to end this anxiety period, during which the hospital is always worried about depleting oxygen levels. In the meeting, we had suggested that nodal officers should be fixed for the institutes and they should coordinate with suppliers and the government.”
On Sunday, Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia requested hospitals in the city not to raise alarms unnecessarily over oxygen shortage and appealed to the media to verify claims before reporting.
“I request hospitals not to raise alarms unnecessarily. Such acts hamper efforts to provide assistance to hospitals that really need help. The media should crosscheck before reporting such cases,” he tweeted.
Citing an incident, Sisodia said a small hospital raised an alarm over oxygen shortage but it was later found that it had been given 30 cylinders, out of which 20 were still to be used.
“This morning, I got an SOS call from a hospital that had 18 kilolitres of oxygen in stock. The hospital requires 4.8 kl a day and has a storage capacity of 21 kl, meaning it still has three days of supply left. Such acts hamper efforts to provide help to hospitals that really need assistance,” Sisodia, who is also the nodal minister for Covid-19 management in Delhi, said.