J&K to spend Rs 212 cr on enhancing oxygen supply in hospitals

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J&K will spend Rs 212 crore for augmenting medical oxygen supply in health care institutes across the UT.

A senior health department official informed Greater Kashmir that following an outcry over the dearth of oxygen ports and dedicated oxygen generation capacity in the hospitals, the health department had mooted a proposal to augment oxygen generation plants in selected hospitals of J&K.

“In this regard an expert committee was constituted with GMC principals and directors of Health department of Kashmir and Jammu as its members.

“The committee has submitted detailed project reports for augmenting oxygen supply in hospitals including GMCs in J&K,” an official said, adding that following the finalization and approval of DPRs, J&K government sanctioned Rs 212 crore for this project.

The mechanical engineering wings of J&K have been entrusted the job of installing oxygen generation plants and manifold oxygen plants in all district hospitals as well government medical colleges in the Union Territory.  The project has been tendered.

According to officials, the government has given three months’ time to complete the project.

Managing Director J&K Medical Supplies Corporation Limited, Dr. Yashpal Sharma said that the work has already begun to augment oxygen generation capacity of plants in the selected hospitals of J&K.

“There are two projects aimed at augmenting oxygen supply in hospitals across J&K— one is state government funded, in which Rs 212 crore has been sanctioned. Even funds have been released to augment oxygen generation capacity in GMCs, district hospitals.

“Another project is funded by the World Bank. Under this, the directorate of Jammu and Kashmir divisions have identified 15 sub-district hospitals each, from both divisions having huge patient load where the oxygen generation capacity will increase.”

It is pertinent to mention here that the government will utilise Rs 368 crore World Bank fund to upgrade the critical care facilities and augment medical oxygen supplies in health care units across J&K.

The oxygen crisis can be gauged by the fact that the J & K Administration had suspended two officials, including a Deputy Medical Superintendent, over the shortage of oxygen supply to Covid-19 patients and mismanagement at Government Medical College, Jammu, leading to the death of a patient.

The inquiry committee report suggested that there had been a complete lack of coordination between the hospital administration and the mechanical engineering wing of the hospital which led to the poor service delivery system to the patients, particularly those suffering from COVID-19.