Limited oxygen supply choking private hospitals in Chandigarh
Private hospitals in Chandigarh are scrambling for medical oxygen cylinders amid a surge in demand and dwindling supply.
As the private suppliers have reportedly hiked the prices, the Chandigarh administration has now decided to provide oxygen cylinders to private hospitals from the central quota set for the UT.
At least three private hospitals in the city, which have around 60 to 70 Covid-19 patients from the region, have stated their helplessness in getting adequate oxygen with private suppliers unable to meet the required capacity.
Dr Hardeep Singh Santokh of Santokh Hospital, Sector 38, said: “While our demand has doubled from 20 cylinders to 40, the supply is scarce, leading to a crisis-like situation. Also, the suppliers have doubled the prices of filled cylinders, from ₹240 per unit to ₹500.”
Dr Sanjay Bansal, owner of Eden Hospital, Industrial Area, and Dr SPS Chawla, administrator at Landmark Hospital, Sector 33, said there was a problem with refilling the cylinders, and the rising prices were putting further stress on the supplies.
Chandigarh health secretary Arun Gupta said the administration on Saturday decided to allocate five tonnes of oxygen for filling cylinders of both private and government hospitals.
“Cylinders of private hospitals will be refilled through the bottling plants located in Punjab by Sunday, as per the requirement,” he said.
Mohali hit by shortage of empty cylinders
Meanwhile, in the neighbouring Mohali district, the administration claims that it has ample supply to meet oxygen demand, but there is a concern over the shortage of empty cylinders. Now, the district authorities have written to the department of industries to divert empty cylinders for hospital supply.
“We are constantly monitoring the availability of oxygen in each of the hospitals with dedicated Covid beds. As of now, there is sufficient oxygen available with each of them for both Covid and non-Covid patients,” said Mohali deputy commissioner Girish Dayalan.
The Punjab government has already provided five tonnes of additional oxygen to Mohali district, which would soon be made available to hospitals, said a senior administrative officer.
“As of now, Hitech Industries Limited is supplying oxygen to various hospitals, while two suppliers — Hind Air and AGPL — are out of stock. We are in touch with the state government to provide them with liquid so that the growing demand of oxygen is met without any constrain,” said the official.