Andhra Pradesh

Monitoring panel ‘detects’ large-scale misuse of oxygen by private hospitals

Oxygen Monitoring Committee chairman Nishant Kumar and Joint Collector A. Siri at a meeting in Anantapur on Saturday.   | Photo Credit: R.V.S. PRASAD

The District Oxygen Monitoring Committee has detected large-scale misuse of cylinders by a few private hospitals, as the number of patients being treated in them and the consumption of cylinders did not match.

At an urgently convened meeting of the representatives of the oxygen supplying agencies, nodal officers of private designated COVID Hospitals, and private hospitals here on Saturday, Joint Collectors Nishant Kumar and A. Siri, who head the monitoring committee, said the district was receiving 15 KL of Liquid Medical Oxygen (LMO) for all the government hospitals with a capacity of 53 KL.

The oxygen supplying agencies from whom the private hospitals source their supplies have their own commercial contracts with various LMO producers, and any disruption in supplies would have to be resolved by themselves.

“We will step in and help them only when our intervention becomes essential, as we too have contacts with the Linde and other producers. But it is the Central government that makes oxygen allocations,” Mr. Nishant Kumar said.

The committee began the meeting by taking cognisance of the news item published in The Hindu on Saturday. It was of the view that that many hospitals were not admitting patients citing oxygen scarcity as an alibi.

“We will conduct a thorough audit of the supply and usage of oxygen and take stringent punitive action against the hospital managements and the nodal officers should there be any discrepancy,” Mr. Nishant Kumar said.

Earlier in the day, Parvathi Agencies received 10 KL (half its quota) for refilling at its Kumar Oxygen unit on the Ballari Road in Anantapur, its owner Anand Kumar told The Hindu.

Ms. Siri said the district administration was streamlining the admission process in the hospitals and updating the availability of beds as early as possible.

District Forest Officer and Oxygen Monitoring Committee member cross-checked cases of Asha Hospital, Anand Ortho, Pavani Hospital, and S.V. Hospital, and found “large-scale misuse, or use of oxygen for COVID-19 patients not being treated under Aarogyasri.”

The nodal officers complained that the hospitals were not providing the required information and not cooperating with them. A few representatives of the private hospitals later individually met the committee members to air their side of the story.

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Printable version | Jun 21, 2021 10:51:34 PM |

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