The Delhi High Court on Tuesday tells the petitioner to move a fresh representation to the Delhi Government seeking direction to the state government to frame guidelines to hospitals to create ‘oxygen master plan’ including mandatory directions to hospitals to have their own oxygen plants as a licensing requirement for hospital, arrangement of oxygen tankers, uninterrupted oxygen supply points and oxygen ambulances.
A bench of Justice DN Patel and Justice Jasmeet Singh told the petitioner to approach the Delhi government first with fresh representation.
Court also said that the Supreme Court has already constituted a panel of experts regarding the shortage of oxygen supply.
The petitioner Jaswinder Singh Jolly, in his plea filed through Advocates Naginder Benipal and Harpreet Singh Hora, stated that the self-reliance of hospitals having their own Oxygen supply chain in form of Oxygen plants on lines of hospitals in Indore, West Bengal, Commonwealth Covid Care Village (Delhi) is imperative in order to prevent the large scale loss of life which has happened in Delhi during the Covid-19 pandemic.
According to the petition, having its own Oxygen generation facility is equally important as having permits, Electricity and water, sewage, biomedical waste, fire and health licenses, employment of employees (Doctors, Nurses, Pharmacists) for running a hospital.
Several hospitals in Delhi had put up SOS calls and tweets seeking help as they had run out of oxygen supply at the eleventh hour and Oxygen supplies from other states had taken considerable time due to which there has been a massive loss of life in some hospitals in Delhi and thus, guidelines and directions for the hospitals to be self-reliant by setting their own oxygen plants is necessary in such a scenario, plea read.
The plea also stated that the state of Delhi is not “Oxygen rich” in terms of medical oxygen as the same is not produced evenly in India. Some states are oxygen producing States such as Maharashtra, Rajasthan and Jharkhand but the state of Delhi do not have production capacity and rely on the supply of oxygen from oxygen-producing States thereby such guidelines and mandatory provisions are necessary to prevent any loss of life in Delhi’s hospitals in the present as well as coming future.
Despite there being a supply plan for medical oxygen to Delhi for meeting its demand was issued, the hospitals in Delhi faced challenges despite that allocation due to logistical bottlenecks in transportation, incidents of local authorities in disrupting supplies to the state of Delhi, the plea said.
The petition stated that the medical healthcare facilities are currently facing tremendous pressure for catering the patients and issue of supply of medicines, shortage of staff, and unavailability of hospital beds, lack of oxygen supply have further added to the problems.
The Central and state governments have issued several circulars, notices, orders to combat the problem of oxygen supply and efforts are still being made to address the problem of shortage of oxygen supply to hospitals, plea read.