The Delhi government informed the Delhi High Court Tuesday that of at least 400 ventilators in the city’s government hospitals, 52 are non-functional and that efforts are being made to get them repaired.
A bench of Chief Justice Rajendra Menon and Justice V K Rao was also told that the government has ordered procurement of more than 18 ventilators for their hospitals.
The information was submitted by Delhi government’s additional standing counsel (civil) Satyakam in response to the High Court’s January 30 query regarding the status of ventilators available in hospitals under them.
The information was sought after it was told that a three-year-old boy, admitted in LNJP Hospital since January 24 and suffering from a critical neurological condition, was in dire need of the breathing apparatus but was making do with a manual resuscitator.
The critical medical condition of the boy and his need for a ventilator was brought to the court’s attention by advocate Ashok Agarwal. The child died on February 10, the Delhi government’s status report said.
The court, while seeking to know the status of ventilators, had also expressed dissatisfaction with the manner in which the Delhi government had responded to the issue of putting online the details of medical facilities available at its hospitals.
The bench had, subsequently, directed the Delhi government to file a status report indicating the steps taken to make people aware about the facilities.
In its report, the government has said that “a control room is presently functional in the Directorate General Health Services which collects data regarding availability of ventilator beds, H1N1/dengue beds from all public hospitals and provides the information to the public at large”.“The information from control room can be accessed round the clock at 011-22300012/22307145,” the report said.
The government said that the state programme officer, Delhi State Health Mission of the Delhi government, has been requested to prepare a web portal for online bed/ventilator availability information in public hospitals under it. It said that efforts are being made to make the web portal functional within two months.
In September 2017, the High Court took cognisance of a news report that a newborn had died as the family did not get a ventilator-fitted bed in four government hospitals in the Capital.
Since then, it is monitoring the issue of providing online information about medical facilities, including ventilators and beds at the hospitals.
A newborn girl had died at the Jag Pravesh Chandra Hospital in northeast Delhi because it had no ventilator support, while the three other government hospitals where the family had gone had refused admission, saying no critical care beds were available.