Govt unable to fully utilize 200-bed MCH Hospital G Nagar for Corona patients due to shortage of staff, oxygen

Govind Sharma

JAMMU, May 11: Though the 200-bedded Maternal and Child Health (MCH) Hospital, Gandhi Nagar in Jammu, has been designated as Level-II COVID Hospital but due to insufficient staff and shortage of oxygen, Government is unable to fully utilize this state of the art facility for treatment of COVID patients.
Official sources told Excelsior that MCH Hospital has total bed strength of 200 but in the absence of adequate strength of staff and proper supply of oxygen, the authorities have earmarked only 100 beds for the COVID patients while remaining beds are lying unused and can be used only if more staff is provided and oxygen supply is augumented.
Giving more details, sources said the Hospital was designated as COVID Hospital specifically for Gynae, Paediatrics and Post Operative patients while leaving the SMGS Hospital for non-COVID patients while all Gynae and other surgeries of the COVID patients are done in MCH Hospital.
Sources said till 8 am this morning, 92 beds out of total 100 earmarked for the COVID patients were occupied. Of the 92 beds, 79 were occupied by general patients while 13 beds were occupied by Gynae & Obst/Paediatric/Post-Operative patients.
“Of the remaining eight beds, 7 were kept reserved for post Operative/Gynae & Obst/Paediatric patients and 1 was available with oxygen concentrator,” sources said, adding, 72 beds are still available in the Hospital but they are non-operative and cannot be used for treatment of COVID patients as neither the Hospital has adequate staff to look after more than 100 patients nor the existing oxygen Plant of the Hospital has the capacity to cater more patients.
Sources rued that Oxygen Plant of the Hospital has the capacity of 1000 Litre Per Minute (LPM) and it was commissioned just a week ago but it has failed to exert the required pressure at the patient end and to maintain adequate pressure of oxygen, the administration of the Hospital is forced to procure 100-150 oxygen cylinders on daily basis but the Hospital is also facing shortage of D-type oxygen cylinders.
They informed that as per the official record which was released this morning, only 98 oxygen supported beds were vacant for COVID patients. These 98 beds included 44 beds in GMC Jammu, 22 in CD Hospital Jammu, 14 in Gandhi Nagar Hospital Old Block and 9 each in MCH Gandhi Nagar and Super Speciality Hospital (SSH) Jammu.
As the vacant beds in designated COVID Hospitals are reducing with each passing day and new COVID cases are increasing, sources said, Government has even decided to use 50% bed capacity of four private hospitals in Jammu viz. Bee Enn Charitable Hospital, SDDM Channi Himmat, Maitrika Hospital near Jodhamal Public School and Medicare near Auqaf Market (Gandhi Nagar) to tackle any emergent situation obtaining due to current pandemic but no heed is being paid to fully utilize 200-bedded MCH Hospital Gandhi Nagar by providing adequate staff and augmenting oxygen supply.
When contacted, Medical Superintendent, MCH Hospital Gandhi Nagar, Dr Arun Sharma said that with existing staff and oxygen support, they are even finding it difficult to manage 100 beds. “I have taken up the matter of more staff with Principal, GMC Jammu, Dr Shashi Sudhan Sharma and she has assured to provide the same,” he said, adding, once they get more staff, and the oxygen supply is also augmented, they can make all 200 beds available for COVID patients.