Non-Covid nursing homes feel the O2 crisis pinch
New Delhi: As the city's hospitals continue their daily struggle with medical oxygen, Delhi's non-Covid nursing homes, caught in between the supply chain management mess that has led to this situation, have now said they are being neglected and sought a slew of directions for so that another impending crisis can be averted in time.
In a submission made by petitioner Delhi Medical Association on Monday before the Delhi High Court that most nursing homes have not been allocated oxygen supply and that a majority of the allocation has gone to large hospitals, the court observed that such a demand cannot be fulfilled cannot be provided as "there is not enough for existing facilities".
Senior advocate Sachin Dutta, appearing for the association, told a division bench of Justices Vipin Sanghi and Rekha Palli: "Most nursing homes have been kept out of oxygen allocation...total capacity is 8,000 beds...instead of focussing on large hospitals, if oxygen supply can be sent to these nursing homes".
On this, senior advocate Rahul Mehra responded by submitting that, "Oxygen as we all know is being addressed...if we get 900-700 whatever it is...we would like everyone to be a Covid facility…"
The court asked Mehra, "The petitioner Association is not a Covid facility?.." Advocate Dutta replied in the negative.
Sr. advocate Mehra told the court that since the oxygen supply is already low, he won't be able to take in or augment any more hospitals. "Pressure is of oxygen. I can't take another 100 hospitals...I'll collapse," Mehra argued.
Agreeing with the Delhi government's stand, the court stated, "They don't have excess supply. There's not much they can do…"
However, Dutta rebutted saying that there "should be a balance" in the allocation of oxygen and that "8,000 beds are waiting to be augmented for Covid demands".
On this, the bench remarked, "At this time, don't insist on getting in when there is not enough for existing facilities".
"I'm anticipating 15 to 20 days ahead...it is better to make a projection now...it's a genuine apprehension...we should not wait for the crisis to break out," Dutta submitted.
"We have a plan of 15,000 beds and 12,000 ICU beds. When required, please offer us…" Mehra told Dutta, who had also mentioned the point of stocking up on enough generic medication.