COVID patient dies due to oxygen shortage in Jammu; two officers suspended

The J-K government has formed a probe panel to find ‘mismanagement, coordination gap’ at GMC Jammu

COVID patient dies due to oxygen shortage in Jammu; two officers suspended

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Arteev Sharma

Tribune News Service

Jammu, September 24

The Jammu and Kashmir government on Thursday suspended two officers, including a Deputy Medical Superintendent, over the shortage of oxygen supply to COVID-19 patients and mismanagement at Government Medical College (GMC), Jammu, leading to the death of a patient on the night of September 22.

The suspended officers are Tejinder Singh Soodan, in-charge Executive Engineer, Hospital Division, Mechanical Engineering Department, Jammu; and Dr Deepak Kumar, Medical Officer, presently working as in-charge Deputy Medical Superintendent, Super Specialty Hospital, Jammu, with the responsibilities of managing Oxygen Supply in GMC, Jammu.

Soodan has been attached in the office of the Chief Engineer, Mechanical Engineering Department, Jammu, while Dr Kumar would remain attached in the office of the Director Health Services, Jammu.

The decision has been taken a day after Rajeev Rai Bhatnagar, Adviser to the Lieutenant Governor, visited GMC Jammu and ordered to enquire into the shortage of oxygen in the COVID-19 care areas in the hospital.

An enquiry committee comprising Dr Yashpal Sharma, managing director, JKMSCL, Gagan Jyoti, Chief Engineer Mechanical, Engineering Department, Jammu; and Dr Jitender Mehta, Medical Officer, found gross irregularities in the functioning of the hospital.

“From the report of the Committee, it imbibes that there has been complete lack of coordination between the hospital administration and the mechanical engineering wing of the Hospital. This mismanagement has led to the poor service delivery system to the patients, particularly the patients suffering from COVID-19. There has been mismanagement on part of the hospital administration and the officers at the helm of affairs have been dealing with the situation in a very casual and un-professional manner, thereby putting the things in disarray and the available resources have not been put to optimal use,” stated an order issued by the Jammu Health and Medical Department.

Dr Harjeet Rai, Medical Officer, presently posted as OSD in the Health and Medical Education Department, was transferred and posted as in-charge Deputy Medical Superintendent, Super Specialty Hospital, Jammu, replacing Dr Deepak Kumar.

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