Friday, 30 Jul, 12.15 pm Medically Speaking

The IMA criticises the Andhra government's decision to make oxygen plants in hospitals mandatory

The Indian Medical Association has objected to the Andhra Pradesh government’s mandate for the installation of captive oxygen plants and adequate stocks of oxygen cylinders in hospitals (IMA). The state government appears to have made this decision in response to reports of several COVID-19 patients dying as a result of “inadequate oxygen.” The state alone has reported around two dozens of deaths reportedly due to lack of oxygen facilities.

Andhra Pradesh IMA President elect C Srinivasa Raju on Thursday described the government order issued in this regard as unnecessary, illogical and impractical. Issued recently by the Andhra Pradesh government, the order makes it compulsory for all the hospitals to install captive oxygen production facilities and ensure adequate oxygen supplies in their premises. As per the order, hospitals failing to do so will stand to forfeit their registrations.

Speaking to the media, Raju said the arbitrary nature of the order has bewildered the IMA. According to the IMA, the state government has failed to take the opinion of the different stakeholders while taking the decision. He noted that the decision has been taken without taking the opinion of the private hospitals and private doctors who are major stakeholders in the issues.

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The Andhra IMA president has also demanded for a state-level advisory committee to discuss the matters pertaining to the issue. Private players in the state, represented by the Andhra Pradesh Private Nursing Homes and Hospitals Association, Andhra Pradesh Speciality Hospitals Association, and the Aarogyasri Network Hospitals Association, have extended their support to the IMA in this regard.

In May this year, Tirupati's Ruia Government General Hospital saw deaths of COVID-19 patients due to shortage of oxygen. Soon after the incident, the state government took up the issue of requirement of medical oxygen into cognisance, and mulled the revival of around 10 oxygen plants which were closed fully or partially owing to financial and other reasons.

Meanwhile, the state on Thursday recorded 2,107 new COVID-19 cases, taking its overall tally beyond 19.6 lakh, even as its active caseload rose to 21,279.

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