Only 3% of beds in 33 Delhi government hospitals have ventilator facilities, HC told
Only 3.4% of the beds available in the 33 Delhi government hospitals have ventilator facilities against the minimum requirement of 10% in every state-run medical centre, the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) government has informed the Delhi High Court. In an affidavit filed in the court, the state government submitted that it has 400 ventilator beds available in the government hospitals.
A bench of Chief Justice Rajendra Menon and Justice V Kameswar Rao was also told that 52 out of the 400 ventilator beds are “not functional and efforts are being made to get them repaired”. It also added that the procurement of 18 ventilators is under process.
The government’s affidavit comes in response to a direction by the high court. Earlier this month, the court had directed the Delhi government to file the status report with regards to the number of beds and other facilities on the government website. The order had come after a letter was written to the chief justice of the high court by advocate Ashok Agarwal, highlighting the death of a toddler due to the lack of ventilator support.
Advocate Agarwal had informed the court that three-year-old Farhaan was struggling for his life as he was given a manual ventilator.
According to the affidavit, the minor died on February 10.
It is pertinent to mention that according to a Delhi Health Services (DHS) data of February 2019, there are a total of 10,059 beds in the 33 state-run hospitals. Out of these, only 348 beds have functional ventilators in the hospitals, which makes it just 3.45% against the minimum requirement of 10% .
The affidavit filed through advocate Satykam, additional standing counsel of Delhi government, stated that state programme officer of Delhi State Health Mission has been requested by a letter written on January 31 to prepare a web portal for online bed/ventilator availability information in public hospitals and efforts are being made to make it functional within two months.
Regarding availability of real time information about vacant beds in Delhi government hospitals, the report said “it may not be feasible to implement it” in the initial phase wherein hospitals would upload about the availability of beds every morning on the portal.
The reply also stated that authorities have been requested to complete the repair, condemnation and procurement of the ventilators at the earliest.
The matter will be heard on February 13.