Medical Oxygen Crisis: Delhi’s Al-Shifa Hospital To Set Up Medical Oxygen Plant At Rs. 80 Lakh - IAMC

Medical Oxygen Crisis: Delhi’s Al-Shifa Hospital To Set Up Medical Oxygen Plant At Rs. 80 Lakh

NEW DELHI—When many big private hospitals in Delhi are waiting for funds from PM-CARES Fund (The Prime Minister’s Citizen Assistance and Relief in Emergency Situations Fund) to set up medical oxygen generations plants in their premises, Al-Shifa Multi-Speciality Hospital in Jamia Nagar area has gone ahead with installing a medical oxygen generation plant and construction of up a liquid medical oxygen (LMO) tank of 1,000 metric tonnes at its premises from its own funds.

The two medical oxygen projects are estimated to cost Rs. 80 lakh approximately.

The hospital running since 2011, was given approval by the Delhi health department to admit maximum of 49 Covid patients after the second Covid wave hit the nation two weeks ago. As De;ljhi was among the worst states affected by shortage of oxygen supply, the hospital began with 35 beds a fortnight ago and increased it to 40 beds now with improvement in oxygen supply. At present all the 40 beds are occupied, some of the patients in serious condition and on oxygen support.

So far, Al-Shifa has successfully treated 15 serious Covid patients and discharged them.

Speaking to, hospital’s medical superintendent Dr. Mohammed Javed said that “with the surge in Covid-19 cases, when Al-Shifa went ahead with admitting Covid patients, hospital’s staff, including myself had to stand in queue for 10 to 12 hours, even during night hours, outside the oxygen supplier’s premsies to ensure we get sufficient quantity of oxygen and no patient admitted in our hospital suffers because of lack of oxygen.”

“With the Delhi government having appointed nodal officer for supply of oxygen to hospitals, we don’t have to stand in queue now. The nodal officer himself is in touch with our hospital and just tell him our oxygen requirement who then manages the supply in time,” said Dr. Javed. He said that the government officers were cooperating fully with regard to the requirements of his hospital.

“But what we did, and what we are doing now to save patients’ life, is not any favour that we are doing to the patients. We are doing it as our duty towards them and our responsibility towards helping society and mitigating the sufferings of the people. It is with this mission and objective that we are working and providing the best of medical services despite meagre resources compared to top hospitals in the national Capital and surrounding areas,” said Dr. Javed.

Stating that doctors and other staffers at his hospital are working round the clock to provide treatment to Covid patients as per the Union Health Ministry guidelines, Dr Javed claimed that the line of treatment at Al-Shifa hospital is comparable with any corporate hospitals like Fortis, Apollo and Max etc  and that too, at government rates.

He said that as corona crisis seems to be prolonged one with infections rising multiple times of what it was during the first Covid Wave, the Al-Shifa management decided to install its own oxygen generation plant, along with a LMO tank, so that the hospital does not have to depend on outside supply.

“We have already ordered setting up of oxygen plant at our premises which is expected to become operational within four weeks. The management has also taken a final decision to set up a 1,000 metric tonnes capacity of LMO tank and orders for its construction are to be issued soon”, said Dr. Javed.

When asked that many big corporate and hundreds of other private hospitals have asked for funds from PM-CARES Fund for installing oxygen generation plants within their premises, Dr. Javed said, “We have never gone to the government for money. The government is already burdened with too many things and getting funds from the government will take time. So, we decided to do it ourselves. If we can arrange something by ourselves, we should prefer to do it on our own and not wait for the government. In fact, we should help the government in fighting the crisis and try to reduce the burden. We are in touch with the government health department for execution of our plants. I can tell you that all government departments, all health department officials are very quick to help us.”

Asked about medical ethics which have become a major casualty in most of the hospitals during the current Covid crisis and have become unaffordable for even the middle class, Dr. Javed said, “Earning money is not our priority. When money is not your priority, whatever you do, will be ethical. I can tell you that all our charges are as per government norms. And yet, we are not in loss.”

Run by the Human Welfare Trust funded by the community, he said that “the community can do anything by mobilizing funds from it own sources. It is the community that contributes funds for Al-Shifa and it is running successfully since its establishment in 2011. We have good indoor facilities and performing complicated surgeries as well. Recently, we performed an oral cancer surgery that took 8 hours and it was successful. Patients requiring complicated surgeries comes to us, is an indication of the trust of the people in the hospital”.

This story first appeared on indiatomorrow