Delhi: Only 348 Out Of Over 10,000 Govt Hospital Beds Have Ventilators
In a critical observation, the Delhi High Court on Wednesday,February 13 stated that it was “alarming” that not even 10% of the over 10,000 beds in all the AAP government-run hospitals in the country’s capital was under the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) sections, adding that there was a need to remedy the shortcoming.
Dismal percentage of ICU beds
The 33 government-run hospitals have only 10,059 beds, out of which only 348 beds are equipped with functional ventilators, that is 3.4% as against the minimum requirement of 10%, reported The Hindustan Times.
A bench comprising Chief Justices Rajendra Menon and V K Rao were shown a list of the number of ICUs and ventilator beds in public and private hospitals. The bench then observed that it is alarming to see that over 10,000 beds in all of Delhi’s government hospitals, there are only 348 ICU beds.
The bench was also told that there are around 400 ventilator beds in all of Delhi’s government hospitals, out of which 52 are “not functional and efforts are being made to repair them.” It was also mentioned that the procurement of 18 beds is under process.
Earlier this month, the court had asked the Aam Aadmi Party government to provide a tally of the beds and other facilities on the government website. The order came after an advocate, Ashok Agarwal wrote a letter to the Chief Justice of the High Court, that emphasised on the death of a toddler who died because of lack of ventilator.
Advocate Ashok Agarwal also told the court that three-year-old Farhaan was struggling for his life when he was finally given a manual ventilator. Going by the details of the affidavit, the minor had died on February 10.
At the time of the hearing, the court also asked the private hospitals to provide data of all the vacant beds and ventilators available at their hospitals for the economically weaker section of the society.
What does authorities have to say?
Additional standing counsel of Delhi government, advocate Satykam, filed an affidavit stating that state programme officer of Delhi State Health Mission has been requested by a letter written on January 31 to prepare a web portal for online bed/ventilator availability information in public hospitals and efforts are being made to make them functional within a span of months.
“It may not be feasible to implement it” in the initial phase wherein hospitals would upload about the availability of beds every morning on the portal,” said a report on the availability of real-time information about vacant beds and ventilators in Aam Aadmi Party government hospitals in the country’s capital.