SC sets up 12-member national task force to allocate oxygen across India
The Supreme Court on Saturday formed a 12-member task force to ensure medical oxygen is delivered throughout the country in a streamlined manner. A bench headed by Justice DY Chandrachud set up the task force to assess and recommend the need and distribution of oxygen throughout India. The court-appointed task forc will also provide a public health response on the basis of a scientific approach on issues of essential drugs, manpower and medical care to rural areas.
The task force consists of 10 doctors and the convener of the task force will be the cabinet secretary to the Centre. The secretary to the health ministry is also part of the 12-member committee formed by the Supreme Court. The 12 member panel includes -
- Dr Bhabatosh Biswas, former vice-chancellor, West Bengal University of Health Sciences, Kolkata.
- Dr Devender Singh Rana, chairperson, board of management, Sir Ganga Ram Hospital, Delhi.
- Dr Devi Prasad Shetty, chairperson and executive director, Narayana Healthcare, Bengaluru.
- Dr Gagandeep Kang, professor, Christian Medical College, Vellore, Tamil Nadu
- Dr JV Peter, director, Christian Medical College, Vellore, Tamil Nadu
- Dr Naresh Trehan, chairperson and managing director, Medanta Hospital and Heart Institute, Gurugram.
- Dr Rahul Pandit, director, critical care medicine and ICU, Fortis Hospital, Mulund (Mumbai, Maharashtra) and Kalyan (Maharashtra).
- Dr Saumitra Rawat, chairman and head, department of surgical gastroenterology and liver transplant, Sir Ganga Ram Hospital, Delhi.
- Dr Shiv Kumar Sarin, senior professor and head of department of Hepatology, Director, Institute of Liver and Biliary Science (ILBS), Delhi
- Dr Zarir F Udwadia, consultant chest physician, Hinduja Hospital, Breach Candy Hospital and Parsee General Hospital, Mumbai
- Secretary, Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, Government of India (ex officio member).
- The Convenor of the National Task Force, who shall also be a member, will be the Cabinet Secretary to the Union Government to the task force.
The Supreme Court also allowed audit of medical oxygen to examine supply and efficacy of distribution of oxygen by the government of national capital territory of Delhi (GNCTD). Dr Randeep Guleria, Dr Sandeep Budhiraja and one IAS officer each from Centre and Delhi government, will comprise the audit group for Delhi.
The country since the onset of the second wave saw hospitals in its major cities face severe oxygen shortage which led to deaths of hundreds of patients. Major hospitals in Delhi last month moved the Supreme Court and the Delhi high court citing lack of oxygen which led to deaths of patients.