Tribune News Service
Chandigarh, March 19
Amid the second Covid wave, when a large number of people are dying due to the shortage of intensive care infrastructure in Punjab, hundreds of ventilators are gathering dust in the state government’s warehouse.
Sources said the Government of India had sent 290 ventilators, worth Rs 20 to Rs 30 crore, for the state last year, but the health department was yet to unpack them for use. Ideally, these ventilators should have been sent to medical colleges or other centres offering the L-3 care for Covid patients. The L-3 care is offered to patients who require two or more organ support or the mechanical ventilation alone.
No trained manpower
- Sources said there had been no demand from the state’s medical colleges and other hospitals for ventilators
- Lack of competent manpower to efficiently manage patients on ventilators remains the biggest issue
- Tanu Kashyap, MD, Punjab Health Systems Corporation, said they were in the process of allocating the ventilators to state government medical colleges
Sources further revealed that in a recent meeting, Punjab Health Systems Corporation Managing Director Tanu Kashyap had conveyed about the status of ventilators. She said there had been no demand from the state’s medical colleges and other hospitals. Sources revealed that the biggest issue before the medical colleges was the lack of competent manpower to efficiently manage patients on ventilators.
Later it was decided the that Principal, Government Medical College, Mohali, and Vice Chancellor Baba Farid University of Health Sciences, Faridkot, Dr Raj Bahadur may be asked to place the demand for ventilators. Tanu Kashyap, Managing Director, Punjab Health Systems Corporation, said they were in the process of allocating the ventilators to state government medical colleges.
This was not for the first time when the state hospitals failed to use the ventilators. Five years ago, 10 ventilators were sent to Civil Hospital, Ludhiana, but they remained unused for five years. Last year, it became a controversy when amid the Covid breakout it was proposed to hand them over to a local private hospital.
Significantly, in the past one year, over 6,000 persons have died due to Covid in the state. In the last one and a half months, around 500 persons in the state have died. For the past one week, on an average 30 persons are dying due to Covid.
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