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Oxygen suppliers yet to breathe easy

KGH, biggest govt. hospital in State, yet to pay dues to them

August 22, 2017 01:10 am | Updated 01:10 am IST - VISAKHAPATNAM

A view of the imposing main administrative block of KGH  in Visakhapatnam.

A view of the imposing main administrative block of KGH in Visakhapatnam.

Oxygen suppliers to the King George Hospital (KGH) are keeping their fingers crossed hoping to get their dues amounting to over ₹ 70 lakh. Thankfully, suppliers to the KGH have not stopped the supply of oxygen to recover the dues.

One of the biggest government hospitals in Andhra Pradesh, the KGH caters to patients not only from North Andhra but also to those from Odisha and Chhattisgarh.

The hospital has a sanctioned strength of 1,037 beds but in view of the high demand an additional non-sanctioned 500 beds are in use at the hospital.

These include: 300 additional beds in the recently opened Super Speciality Block for which the budget is yet to be sanctioned.

“The gas budget of the hospital for the first and second quarters, amounting to around ₹ 60 lakh, and some old dues are yet to be released by the government. The gas suppliers will be paid their dues as and when the budget is released by the government. We have sufficient funds in the Hospital Development Society Funds and they would be used when required,” KGH Superintendent G. Arjuna told The Hindu , when his attention was drawn to the issue on Monday.

Gas tankers

“The government has approved construction of three gas tankers in the hospital premises. We have identified three points for construction of the tanks and plan to complete the construction in about one-and-half months. This would enable us to store 1,500 tons of liquid oxygen to sustain the requirements for three weeks, even if there is no supply from outside.”

It’s learnt that one of the suppliers has written twice to the authorities concerned but is yet to hear from them. He said the dues were mounting after the bifurcation of the State.

The oxygen suppliers to the Victoria Government Hospital (VGH), popularly known as ‘Gosha hospital’ and the Government ENT Hospital in the city, should thank their stars as the dues of these hospitals were cleared by the State government.

“The government has released our annual budget of ₹ 5 lakh for oxygen and we have reserve stock of oxygen cylinders,” VGH Superintendent D. Hemalatha Devi said.

ENT Hospital Superintendent G. Raghunadha Babu said: “Though the central oxygen supply at the hospital had to be temporarily stopped due to a minor fire and malfunctioning of the pressure regulator, reserve cylinders are available and there is no cause for worry.”

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