Srinagar: Waking up to the oxygen crisis due to Covid-19, the administration is planning to equip all the district and associated hospitals with oxygen plants.
Financial Commissioner of Health and Medical Education Department Atal Dullo told The Kashmir Monitor that the department has taken a pre-emptive action to meet the growing demands of oxygen supply in the hospitals.
“We are planning to equip all the district and associated hospitals with oxygen plants. The process will take around 4-5 months,” he said.
He pointed out that the project cost is estimated at 180-200 crore rupees. “It is a time-consuming process and involves procurement, tendering civil works, and a number of other things. Most likely, we will give approvals in August and have asked for the Detailed Project Reports to be framed,” he said.
Divisional Commissioner Kashmir Pandurang K Pole said under DNB (Diplomate of National Board) project of the government, some of the major hospitals have been identified.
“DPRs are being prepared and the execution will start after a few months. Meanwhile, we have made arrangements for providing Oxygen Bulk Cylinder and Oxygen Concentrators for COVID patients,” Pole said.
Kashmir is reeling under the scarcity of medical oxygen resulting in delayed treatment for patients.
President Doctors Association of Kashmir Dr. Suhail Naik emphasized Oxygen is the drug of choice for any critically ill patient irrespective of etiology and the first-line drug for COVID bilateral pneumonia.
“Many patients are referred to central hospitals for oxygen therapy as rural hospitals do not have oxygen plants. Therefore, the installation of central oxygen plants in rural hospitals will significantly curtail referral to central hospitals, and decrease mortality and morbidity rate among sick patients,” he said.
Dr. Naik stressed that it is time to upgrade the health sector holistically minute to minute. “We need man behind machinery to deliver efficiently. Our health care system lacks both. Also, it is high time to equip the system with extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO) and high-frequency oscillatory ventilators (HFOV),” he said.