Tiruchi govt hospital’s oxygen plant fully functional while many lie dormant in regional public health facilities

The plants were commissioned by the PM-CARES Fund at the height of the COVID-19 pandemic in 2021; the plant at MGMGH has capacity to provide oxygen at 1,000 litres per minute

Published - June 07, 2024 06:18 pm IST - TIRUCHI

The 1,000-litre capacity Pressure Swing Adsorption (PSA) oxygen generation plant at the Mahatma Gandhi Memorial Government Hospital (MGMGH) in Tiruchi commissioned under the PM-CARES fund in 2021 is among the units that is fully functioning in the aftermath of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“We have enough liquid medical oxygen, besides the PM-CARES generation plant to take care of the hospital’s needs for up to 50 years. Even though the pandemic alert has passed, we feel it is better to maintain the PSA plant in working condition for future emergencies,” a senior hospital official told The Hindu.

The PM-CARES PSA plant at MGMGH was set up in October 2021 at a cost of ₹1.75 crore. The apparatus itself had cost ₹1.25 crore and civil works, including laying pipelines, were done by the Public Works Department for ₹50 lakh.

The plant was designed to cater to 500 beds and provide oxygen at 1,000 litres per minute to patients if the need arose.

At the peak of the pandemic’s second wave in 2021, a plant with the capacity to produce 350 litres of medical oxygen per minute was inaugurated at MGMGH at a cost of ₹53 lakh from the municipal administration fund. Prior to this, the government hospital was sourcing oxygen from a private supplier.

At the Thanjavur Medical College Hospital, the PM-CARES PSA plant (launched in 2021) was reported to have fallen into disuse due to a mechanical fault recently. Following this, according to a statement this week by college authorities, a committee was established to monitor the repair and maintenance of the unit in end-May, and mock drills would be held to ensure its efficiency.

In Perambalur, a senior Health Department official said the PM-CARES oxygen plant installed at the District Headquarters Hospital had stopped functioning. “We have flagged the issue with the team in charge of servicing the plant, and hope to have it sorted out soon. However, at present the hospital is managing to meet its oxygen requirements through the existing infrastructure,” he said.

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