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It was the peak time of COVID and a private hospital in Chandigarh was consuming Medical Oxygen way beyond its requirement. The inquiry committee against the Eden Hospital, which was consuming excess oxygen cylinders, headed by Yashpal Garg, nodal officer for oxygen supplies UT, has found the hospital to have possibly hoarded or illegally diverted medical oxygen cylinders. After the findings, the committee has asked the health department to initiate strict actions under the Disaster Management Act, 2005, or under the Chandigarh Epidemic Disease, COVID-19 Act.

Considering the acute shortage of medical oxygen, it was decided to rationalize the distribution of oxygen and fix a daily quota for each of the private hospitals. During the process of the inquiry, it was observed that Hospital Eden Critical Care Hospital was consuming abnormal quantities of about 350 cylinders per day while another hospital of almost the same capacity was consuming about 90 cylinders only.

On May 9th, it was decided that a Committee chaired by Jagjit Singh, PCS would conduct an inquiry about the abnormal consumption pattern of medical oxygen cylinders by “M/s Eden Critical Care Hospital’ for the period from April 1 onwards. Dr. Manjit Singh, GMSH-16 and Dr. Manpreet Singh, GMCH-32 were other members of the Committee.

The committee in its report mentioned that the hospital used Medical Oxygen at a very high flow rate against the guidelines issued by the Government of India. It was found that the hospital records regarding consumption of oxygen cylinders were not produced by the hospital authorities. The report documented that even if all the beds were occupied and all the patients were at high flows of oxygen then also consumption of D-Type cylinders could not have been more than 150 or 160 cylinders.

The report recorded the statement of the hospital that they accepted about not keeping proper opening and closing balance of oxygen cylinders on daily basis. “By their own admission, not keeping proper record of a lifesaving resource of Medical Oxygen, which was in short supply during the upsurge of pandemic, shows irresponsible behavior on the part of hospital authorities. Even the stated leakages in the pipeline do not justify the exceptionally high consumption of Oxygen Cylinders on certain dates,” mentioned the report.

The committee estimated that by going by the present consumption pattern, the hospital should have consumed only 1641 cylinders for 565 patients during the period prior to the start of the quota system. But it consumed 2935 cylinders. After ten days of the abolition of the quota system, about 1300 oxygen cylinders were used.

It is clear that Eden Critical Care Hospital has procured abnormal quantity of medical oxygen cylinders. Even with the high flow to all of the patients admitted in the hospital, the daily consumption cannot be more than 150 to 160 cylinders. . There cannot be any justification for consumption of about 200 to 3550 cylinders. Use of high flow of oxygen against the prescribed guideline might have negative effects on the patients. Further the patients might have been compelled to pay for that quantity of oxygen which was actually not required.

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