Govt says reports of faulty ventilators in Punjab's Faridkot hospital unfounded, issue with hospital infrastructure
The government said 88 of the ventilators were supplied by Bharat Electronics Limited (BEL) and it has informed that the bulk of ventilators supplied to the hospital are not faulty, as are being reported.
After reports of ventilators lying unused at Faridkot's Guru Gobind Singh Medical College (GGSMC) and Hospital surfaced, the Punjab government claimed that most of the life-saving machines supplied by the Centre under the PM Cares Fund are faulty and not in working condition. In what appeared to be a rebuttal to these claims, the Union government on Thursday said the reports about ventilators being of poor quality seem to be unfounded and do not have full information on the matter.
"There have been some media reports suggesting that Government of India supplied ventilators (supported by PM CARES) to GGS Medical College and Hospital, Faridkot, Punjab are lying unused as a result of technical glitches which have not been resolved due to poor after-sales support by the manufacturers. These reports seem to be unfounded, not having the full information on the matter," the government said.
The government said 88 of the ventilators were supplied by Bharat Electronics Limited (BEL) and it has informed that the bulk of ventilators supplied to the hospital are not faulty, as are being reported. It said that their engineers have observed that there are problems with the infrastructure in GGSMCH like the non-availability of required pressure in the central oxygen gas pipelines. The hospital authorities are not following the prescribed norms of changing consumables like flow sensors, bacteria filters and HME filters or they are using the machines without these important consumable items, the government said in a statement. Correct gas pressure and the proper use of consumables are necessary for the efficient functioning of CV200 ventilators, the statement added.
The Union government said that the BEL engineers have visited the hospital multiple times in the past to address the issues and promptly carried out minor repairs. Various demonstrations on the functioning of the ventilators were also conducted by the engineers for the staff of the hospital.
BEL engineers visited the hospital on Wednesday as well and "made five ventilators functional only by replacing a few consumables and demonstrated their optimum performance to the GGSMCH authorities, thereby, further making it evident that when operated properly, the ventilators will provide reliable performance," the government added.
The government also said that BEL will continue to provide all the technical support required by the state in meeting the requirement of ventilators during the coronavirus pandemic.
The ventilators in Faridkot's medical college and hospital came under the spotlight after the Aam Aadmi Party MLA Kultar Singh Sandhwan tweeted a picture of the machines lying unused in the hospital on Tuesday. Post which, Baba Farid University of Health Sciences Vice-Chancellor Raj Bahadur said 82 ventilators were received by the hospital of which 62 were not in working condition since the beginning. Guru Gobind Singh Medical College (GGSMC) and Hospital comes under the Baba Farid University of Health Sciences.
Meanwhile, the state government on Wednesday also claimed that 130 of the 809 ventilators received from the Centre are not functional, as per a PTI report.