BIMS director denies oxygen scarcity

The director of Belagavi Institute of Medical Sciences Vinay Dastikopp has denied reports that four persons died of oxygen scarcity in the government medical college hospital.

“There is no scarcity of oxygen in the hospital. We have our own dedicated oxygen supply to the wards and beds,” he told journalists.

“Of the 1,040 beds in the hospital, we have set aside 300 for COVID treatment. The rest are for emergency healthcare departments including obstetrics and gynaecology, orthopaedics, surgery and general medicine. We can expand the COVID ward if we get additional rooms or a separate building,” he said in reply to a question.

However, there have been complaints of scarcity of oxygen-fitted beds and ventilators. On Wednesday, a family from Nehru Nagar complained that it was not getting a ventilator bed. “We have gone around the city looking for beds. Even in BIMS we did not get one. Three days after my husband developed symptoms, we are yet to admit him to any hospital,’’ a woman said.

Private hospitals have complained that the district administration was not supplying them enough oxygen.

Subhash Patil and Amit Bhate, who run private hospitals, said that the officers were allotting only one-third of the required number of cylinders while asking hospitals to “adjust somehow”. “But the government is forcing us to set aside half the beds for COVID. How can we function like this? If this continues, we will be forced to shut down hospitals,” they said.

Deputy Commissioner K. Harish Kumar has deputed officers to monitor the three oxygen production plants in the district. They are supposed to visit the plant once daily, take stock and send regular reports. They can also receive public grievances.

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