Patient load rising, Centre yet to hike oxygen quota for Chandigarh

City stares at oxygen crisis, barely able to manage with 40 MT

Patient load rising, Centre yet to hike oxygen quota for Chandigarh

Naina Mishra
Tribune News Service
Chandigarh, May 10

As the number of patients requiring respiratory support continues to rise, Chandigarh is staring at an oxygen crisis as the requirement of the region is barely met with the existing quota sanctioned by the Centre.

The UT has been allocated a quota of 40 MT oxygen which includes 20 MT of oxygen exclusively for the PGI. The rest 20 MT oxygen is for government hospitals of the UT Administration and all private hospital.

Hospitals scramble for meeting requirement

The UT Administration had requested the Centre to raise its oxygen quota from 20 MT to 35 MT. Now, even the PGI has requested the Centre to increase its quota of liquid medical oxygen gas to 40 MT. Of 20 MT quota of oxygen, about 17 MT is directly used at the GMCH-32, GMSH-16 and the hospital in Sector 48. The remaining about 3 MT oxygen is given to a private vendor in Dera Bassi to refill oxygen cylinders of the government hospitals of the UT Administration and private hospitals of Chandigarh.

The UT Administration had requested the Centre to raise its oxygen quota from 20 MT to 35 MT. Now, even the PGI has requested the Centre to increase its quota of liquid medical oxygen gas to 40 MT.

Chandigarh, with a daily requirement of 35 MT of oxygen, is barely able to manage with only 20 MT capacity. There is a scramble for meeting the daily requirement of three government hospitals and seven private hospitals of the UT.

The two oxygen plants set up at the hospitals of the UT are only able to meet 25 per cent oxygen requirement.

Of 20 MT quota of oxygen, about 17 MT is directly used at the GMCH-32, GMSH-16 and the hospital in Sector 48. The remaining about 3 MT oxygen is given to a private vendor in Derabassi to refill oxygen cylinders of the government hospitals of the UT Administration and private hospitals of Chandigarh.

With the PGI now expressing helplessness in procuring adequate oxygen, the UT Administration has started giving 60-70 B type cylinders from its own quota to the PGI.

The daily consumption of liquid oxygen (LMO) of the PGI has reached approximately 22 MT and is being barely managed by an oxygen plant in Uttarakhand. In addition to this, the PGI is also using 50-60 D type cylinders and 60-70 B type cylinders. The institute has four liquid oxygen storage tanks of 44 KL capacity.

As pointed out by the institute, non-cooperation of state governments is the bone of contention in making adequate supply of oxygen. “As an interim arrangement, the institute has now started supplying liquid oxygen to wards where Covid patients are admitted to reduce the dependency on oxygen cylinders,” said an official of the PGI.

Requested Centre again, says Parida

The UT Adviser, Manoj Parida, said: “We have requested the Centre again today to increase 10 MT immediately. We have been giving PGI some cylinders from Derabassi plant. Chief Secretaries of both Punjab and Haryana are coming tomorrow and we will take up the issue with them. The UT Administrator has requested GOI to speed up the process of oxygen plant to be set up at PGI.”

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