Union Health Secretary Rajesh Bhushan on Friday chaired a high-level meeting to review the preparedness status of the entire spectrum of oxygen equipment including ventilators, PSA or oxygen plants, oxygen concentrators and oxygen cylinders for timely and effective management of the COVID-19 pandemic, with states and union territories through a video conference.
The Union Health Secretary emphasized that it is the primary and critical responsibility of states and UTs to ensure all oxygen equipment, till the field level at all health facilities, is tested and kept in a functional state to meet any emergent situation.
As per a press release issued by the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, the states and union territories were urged to ensure full and optimal utilization of ECRP-II funds, through daily reviews, and to upload the expenditure on the dedicated NHM PMS portal so that they are eligible for release of further funds in order to strengthen the healthcare facilities till the sub-district levels.
"Under ECRP-II, funds are also made available for installing Liquid Medical Oxygen (LMO) tanks and Medical Gas Pipeline Systems (MGPS). States are required to make them operational and secure approval from the Petroleum and Explosives Safety Organization (PESO) in respect of LMO tanks," Bhushan said.
Further, he urged the concerned states to commission PSA plants being set up under the state's own funds and CSR funds on a war-footing through daily reviews.
"States were also requested to also ensure that mock drill of the PSA plants are carried out to ensure that oxygen flow at the patient bedside adheres to adequate purity, recommended outlet pressure with no leakages," he stated.
"In addition, flowmeters must be tested and remain in a functional state and the states were exhorted to also monitor the installation of PSA plants in private hospital facilities and Medical College Hospitals," he added.
Bhushan also emphasized that states need to ensure that the delivered ventilators are quickly installed and commissioned at the designated field health facilities.
The states were urged to address the large gaps that continue to exist between delivered and installed ventilators, provide consignee details of hospitals for the requirement of additional ventilators and expedite the issuing of Final Acceptance Certificates for installed ventilators.
The health secretary also advised the states to lodge any complaint related to ventilators in the online Complaint Management System which was launched on August 30, 2021.
He urged them to update buffer stock details with Government hospitals as well as with Medical Colleges on the Drugs and Vaccine Distribution Management System (DVDMS) portal.
States/UTs which have not frozen their buffer requirement of drugs on the DVDMS portal were urged to timely update them along with the details of stocks available and purchase orders placed.