File photo oxygen cylinder being refilled at a unit
File photo oxygen cylinder being refilled at a unit
AFP (File Photo)

Ujjain: Panic prevailed at RD Gardi Medical College (RDGMC) hospital the alarm indicating that it has run out of oxygen went-off at 4.30 am on Tuesday.

The staff here had a hard time, as 140 corona patients were on oxygen supply. Officials including additional collector also rushed to RDGMC and arranged for oxygen. They arranged for 50 cylinders and averted an impending tragedy. The hospital is currently running with limited resources and doctors are reportedly working under the shadow of fear every day, said a staff requesting anonymity.

Madhya Pradesh’ CM Shivraj Singh Chouhan along with his coterie have been making claims with regard to ensuring oxygen supply and effective health services in the state for the past one week, but such scary events punctures their claims with a dose of reality. The condition at private and government hospitals is marred due to lack of oxygen.

At present RDGMC hospital has a total of 140 oxygen-beds for serious patients. The district collector has ‘asked’ that these be increased to 300.

Dean Dr MK Rathore provides some figures. According to him a jumbo cylinder of oxygen used to cost Rs 4,500, but, now it is available for Rs 15,000. Even if we are willing to bear more than three times the cost the order it not being honoured by suppliers. Due to thriving black market, Rathore alleges, that normal beds can be increased but oxygen-beds cannot be increased.

Government yet to pay Rs 19 cr

RDGMC hospital dean MK Rathore on Tuesday told media persons that since March 2020 the government has not made payment to the facility honouring the terms of contract for treating Covid-19 patients. He said that the government has not paid Rs 19 crore since last year. According to him they have to pay Rs 50,000 per day for PPE kit, Rs 2.5 lakh per day for oxygen expenses and salary of doctors and other staff among other expenditures to be borne by the hospital management. Presently, there is a contract for 200 beds with the government: 140 oxygen-beds and 60 normal beds.

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