Goa: GMCH doctors raise oxygen issues, VIP culture, overload

·2-min read

Panaji, May 2 (PTI) The Goa Association of Resident Doctors on Sunday said the medical oxygen situation in the state's premier COVID-19 facility was 'not even close to sufficient' and it was inconveniencing patients and coming in the way of operating equipment effectively.

GARD functionaries have written a letter on this issue to the dean of Goa Medical College and Hospital (GMCH), which is the coastal state's largest coronavirus treatment facility.

'The oxygen supply in various COVID wards is not even close to sufficient. The central oxygen flow delivers very low flow of oxygen at times and is inadequate to keep NIVs (non invasive ventilation) and ventilators working effectively,' the doctors' body said in the letter, a copy of which is available with PTI.

'Also, the oxygen cylinders being used for patients get over in the middle of the night and it takes at least 2-3 hours for replacement cylinders to come, and during this time, patients are kept without oxygen,' it added in the letter.

The GARD letter claimed critical patients have been placed on trolleys and floors as the 30-bed ward is treating over 50 patients at any given time.

It said higher authorities were routinely giving public statements about there being no shortage of beds or oxygen, which led to people demanding why their relatives infected with the virus were being made to occupy floors, wheelchairs and trolleys.

Such a situation and the occasional patient death made doctors vulnerable to attack from kin, but demands to enhance security had not been acceded to by the authorities, the GARD letter alleged.

It said COVID wards must have CCTV cameras, security guards as well as signboard which declare that violence against health care workers would be dealt with firmly.

The GARD letter said even amid a pandemic, doctors were often being told to attend to 'VIP patients', several of whom don't even require hospitalisation, at the cost of others in the ward.

State health minister Vishwajit Rane and GMCH dean Dr Shivanand Bandekar could not be contacted for comments. PTI RPS BNM BNM