Tribune News Service
Chandigarh, June 24
The efficacy of ventilators granted under the PM CARES Fund has come under the lens. Government hospitals in the city have reported technical issues with the ventilators provided under the fund during the second wave.
A total of 44 ventilators were given to Chandigarh in the last week of May, of which 20 were given to the PGI, 10 to the GMCH, Sector 32, and 14 to the GMSH, Sector 16. These ventilators are from a Gujarat-based firm, Jyoti CNC.
Report sent to Centre for action
All three city government hospitals have now prepared a report based on the quality assessment of the ventilators as per which these were found “faulty” and submitted to the UT Health Department. The report has been further submitted to the Central Government for action.
All three government hospitals in the city have prepared a report on the quality assessment of the ventilators as per which these were found “faulty” and submitted it to the UT Health Department. The report has been further submitted to the Central Government for action. Arun Gupta, Principal Health Secretary, UT, confirmed that the report had been sent to the Centre.
Requesting anonymity, a senior health official said, “After the Centre sought information about the requirement for ventilators, city hospitals had asked for ventilators from ‘Hamilton’. However, the ministry asked to send a fresh requirement without mentioning the brand name. The ventilators were assessed by all three hospitals and technical issues were found in operating these.”
“At a review meeting with the ministry today, it was decided to give toll-free numbers of the manufacturer to the hospitals so that the issue could be resolved,” said the official.
Dr Jasbinder Kaur, Director, GMCH, said, “We have tested five ventilators of the 10 and found that these did not work properly. We have reported the issue to the Director, Health Services.”
Not the first time
This is not the first time when the UT has had to report issues with ventilators given under the PM CARES Fund. Last year too, the UT had written to the Centre over the quality of ventilators provided to them after the PGI raised the issue of substandard quality of the ventilators.
Around 20 ventilators were received by the UT under the fund, of which 10 each were provided to the PGI and the GMCH. The PGI had reported faults with the ventilators. The manufacturer of the lot sent to the PGI was different from the one sent to the GMCH.
At least 237 of the 320 ventilators received through the PM CARES Fund at three government medical colleges in Punjab were found defective and lying non-functional in early May.
Critical Covid-19 patients were struggling to find ICU beds in city hospitals during the peak of the second wave in May. There were instances of patients dying while waiting for ventilators in the city hospitals. Officials say increasing the critical care beds in the city hospitals remains a challenge and faulty ventilators can hamper the preparations for dealing with the third wave.
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