Karnataka

Ventilators in taluk hospitals lie idle for want of specialists

One of the five ventilators lying unused at Chincholi taluk hospital in Kalaburagi.  

The State government’s decision to install ventilators at each taluk hospital, without any move to employ skilled manpower to handle them, has left the crucial life-support system unutilised in several places. In contrast, district hospitals that have enough manpower do not have enough ventilators.

In Kalaburagi, 25 ventilators are kept in State-run taluk hospitals, four or five in each. However, taluk hospitals do not have general physicians and anaesthetists required to put a patient on ventilator.

“A hospital should have at least three general physicians and three anaesthetists to work in three shifts to use the life-support system round the clock,” said a doctor.

While the ventilators are lying idle in taluk hospitals, government health facilities in Kalaburagi city like Gulbarga Institute of Medical Sciences (GIMS) and ESIC Medical Complex are facing a severe shortage of ventilators despite having enough manpower to operate them.

Kalaburagi Deputy Commissioner Vijaya Jyothsna admitted that ventilators were lying idle and stressed the need to shift them to the district headquarters. “It is true that none of the 25 ventilators kept at the taluk hospitals are in use because we don’t have skilled and qualified health staff to operate them. The government has ordered to keep four or five ventilators in each taluk hospital and we are following it. If the government allows us to shift the ventilators to district headquarters, we will do so immediately,” Ms. Jyothsna said.

Hassan example

This issue is not restricted to Kalaburagi and the same problem had come up for discussion recently during a meeting chaired by Hassan district Minister K. Gopalaiah.

K.M. Shivalinge Gowda, Arsikere MLA, argued that with no staff, the ventilators were idle in Arsikere taluk hospital. The Hassan district administration then resolved to shift the unused ventilators from taluk hospitals to Hassan Institute of Medical Sciences in Hassan. With this, the ICU beds had been increased in HIMS. Four more ventilators are expected to installed in HIMS in a couple of days.

In Holenarasipur, the taluk hospital has got sufficient technicians to handle the instruments, besides specialists. The Deputy Commissioner has instructed the taluk health officers to hire technicians through outsource agencies, wherever necessary.


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Printable version | Jun 23, 2021 12:14:14 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/karnataka/ventilators-in-taluk-hospitals-lie-idle-for-want-of-specialists/article34590734.ece

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