Reports suggesting ventilators supplied by the union government financed from the PM CARES Fund to a state-run hospital in Punjab’s Faridkot are lying unused because of technical glitches which have not been resolved are “unfounded”, the centre said on Thursday.
In a statement, the union health ministry said it was the lack of infrastructure at the Guru Gobind Singh Medical College (GGSMC) and Hospital that has resulted in the life-saving machines not being operational.
The union government has been centrally procuring and providing states and union territories with essential medical devices including ventilators since April 2020, the ministry said in its statement.
“There have been some media reports suggesting that government of India supplied ventilators (supported by PM- CARES) to GGS Medical College and Hospital, Faridkot, Punjab are lying unused as a result of technical glitches which have not been resolved due to poor after-sales support by the manufacturers,” the ministry said in the statement.
“These reports seem to be unfounded, not having the full information on the matter,” it said.
With reference to the recent media report regarding 71 of 80 AgVa make ventilators being non-functional or faulty at the hospital, it is clarified that 88 ventilators have been supplied by Bharat Electronics Limited (BEL) and five by AgVa.
After successful installation and commissioning, these ventilators were provided with final acceptance certificate by the hospital authorities, the statement said.
BEL has informed that most of the ventilators are not faulty, as are being reported in a section of the media, the statement said.
Their engineers have visited the medical college on different occasions to address the complaints received and carried out minor repairs required promptly. They have even conducted repeated demonstrations of the functioning of the ventilators to the staff over there, the statement stated.
It was observed that there are problems with the infrastructure at the hospital including non-availability of required pressure in the central oxygen gas pipelines. Further, consumables like flow sensors, bacteria filters and HME filters are not being changed by the hospital authorities according to the prescribed norms, or the ventilators are being used without these important consumable items, the statement said.
Maintenance of correct gas pressures as difference between air pressure and oxygen pressure cannot be more than 10 PSI and use of proper consumables are essential requirements, without which performance of CV200 ventilators is not guaranteed, it said.
BEL engineers visited GGSMC again on Thursday and made five ventilators functional only by replacing a few consumables and demonstrated their optimum performance to the GGSMCH authorities, thereby, making it evident that when operated properly, the ventilators will provide reliable performance, the statement said.
In addition to the instructions given in the user manual, detailed instructions and guidelines have also been issued to all the ventilator users regarding infrastructure requirements, proper usage and maintenance of the CV200 ventilators, it said.
However, these are not being followed by many hospitals or medical colleges in Punjab. They have been, instead, raising the issue of ventilators being non-functional without any basis, the ministry said.
(With inputs from PTI)