Short on staff, Punjab Health Department gives 29 ventilators to private hospitals

Patients forced to spend lakhs on treatment

Short on staff, Punjab Health Department gives 29 ventilators to private hospitals

In the absence of required medical infrastructure and technical staff, the Health Department has given 29 ventilators to private hospitals in Bathinda.

Sameer Singh

Tribune News Service

Bathinda, May 5

In the absence of required medical infrastructure and technical staff, the Health Department has given 29 ventilators to private hospitals in Bathinda. As a result, critical Covid-19 patients (level-3) requiring ventilator support are either being referred to Government Medical College and Hospital, Faridkot, or private hospitals in the city, where they are coerced to spend lakhs of rupees for treatment.

Department officials said both government-run hospitals and private hospitals were working to treat Covid-19 patients. The private hospitals have required medical infrastructure to treat level-3 patients so the decision was taken with the aim to save maximum lives. But the ground reality is that in the absence of required medical infrastructure and expertise, the private hospitals are charging exorbitantly. Adesh Hospital, Delhi Heart Hospital, among others, have been given the 29 ventilators.

Meanwhile, the mini ICU facility has been lying locked at the Civil Hospital since it was established four years ago. During the first wave of the pandemic, six ventilators were installed at the district hospital but in the absence of experienced staff, these could not be put to use and the mini ICU had to be locked later.

Talking to The Tribune, Dr Tejwant Singh Dhillon, Civil Surgeon, Bathinda, said, “These ventilators were given to the private hospitals on their request which they submitted to the district administration. We do not have the required medical infrastructure and experienced staff to operate ventilators as of now. We are working together with private hospitals to treat the patients.”

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