Delhi hospitals that have approached the High Court on oxygen shortage have taken strong exception to Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia’s tweets yesterday that asked hospitals not to raise “unnecessary alarm” when they still have oxygen stocks.
“Yesterday the Deputy Chief Minister made a statement that hospitals are making unnecessary SoS calls. Should hospitals wait without oxygen? How long after a patient dies should hospitals issue SoS?” questioned the Jaipur Golden hospital.
The private hospital, located in Delhi, lost 25 patients over the weekend, officials had blamed oxygen shortage for the deaths.
In a series of tweets, Mr Sisodia had mentioned two instances where hospitals that still had oxygen stocks had flagged a shortage. Without naming the hospitals, he said in one case the hospital had 72 hours’ oxygen supply left. Another hospital had contacted the government after consuming one-third of its stock.
“This morning I got an Oxygen SOS call from a hospital that has 18KL available at the moment, whereas its one day cost is 4.8KL. Its storage capacity is also 21KL. That is, he has about 72 hours of oxygen available,” his tweet read.
The Deputy Chief Minister had said that such a situation could add to the stress on the overstretched healthcare system. It is also adding to the anxiety of the relatives of the patients, he had said.
“I request the hospitals not to raise unnecessary alarms on lack of oxygen. By doing this, there is a problem in getting help to the needy hospitals,” one of his tweets read.
Pointing to the extra workload on hospitals, the Delhi High Court said it was the responsibility of the Centre ad the state to ensure that hospitals have enough oxygen.
“Instead of taking care of patients, hospitals are coming to us for oxygen,” said the court, which had received petitions from three hospitals on the oxygen shortage in the national capital.
The hospitals have accused the Delhi government of mismanagement – saying the uncertainty in supply is because of the state.
“There are two issues here: Shortage and uncertainty. The uncertainty is only because of the Delhi government,” the hospitals told the court today.