Unavailability of oxygen


The works of upgradation of medical oxygen plant and centralized oxygen supply in many wards of Government Medical College (GMC) Jammu were sanctioned in October last year and even started by the previous administration but the current GMC administration has failed to re-start the same after lockdown. Had these works re-started timely, the present crisis of oxygen might have been easily avoided. The then Principal GMC Jammu proposed the project namely "SITC of Electro-Mechanical Equipment's for proposed Centralised Medical Gas Pipelines of Oxygen and Vacuum outlet points for the Existing Ward Nos 7, 8, 9, 11, 12, 14 and 15 of GMCH Jammu, with estimated cost of Rs 475 lakh and was approved by the Government under Languishing Projects for funding under JKIDFC. The Detailed Project Report with estimated cost was also prepared and submitted to Government for post facto accord of Administrative Approval. The Government immediately granted the approval in favour of the project and sanctioned Rs 475 lakh for it. The rationale and justification of the proposal was to actually de-bulk the existing 280-bedded emergency block so that the stable patients can be shifted to Wards for further treatment.
The work was started in the month of January but was stopped in March due to country wide lock down and then due to non-availability of transport and labour. But when the interstate transportation and permission of labourer to visit Jammu started in the month of May and June, these works could have been easily started again and completed timely by the present GMC authorities in anticipation of COVID peak at Jammu. It never attained priority of the current GMC administration and they shelved the project, and finally when people started dying due to unavailability of oxygen and media and public pressure increased, they woke up from their deep slumber and sent revised DPRs for installation of medical oxygen generator plants in GMC & AHs Jammu. If the earlier approved works were re-started timely, the scenario would have been different as oxygen generation capacity in GMC would have increased from 1200 LPM to 2400 LPM and there would have been central oxygen supply in all Wards of GMC. The shortage of oxygen supported beds currently being faced by GMC Jammu could have been easily avoided in that case and the existing crisis of oxygen might be easily avoided, they asserted.

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