May 19, 2021

Assam: 140 ventilators still awaiting installation in hospitals

Guwahati: Even PM Narendra Modi has called for an immediate audit to check whether the ventilators allocated to the states are working, TOI has found that in 11 districts of Assam, mostly in rural areas, Installation of more than 140 ventilators allocated under PM Cares Fund is still awaited. The state Health Department has cited lack of dedicated ICUs and inadequate space in many district civil hospitals for delay in installation of ventilators.

While the second wave of covid-19 continues in the country, predicting the third wave is causing more concerns, health officials are only hoping that these unused living-saving units will be commissioned soon. There is growing concern in health circles about unused ventilators in some health institutions from where these allocated ventilators are being moved out.

“There is no dedicated ICU available. Ventilators are being planned to be transferred to other health institutions, ”a spokesperson of the state health department told TOI about the pending installation at Dhubri Civil Hospital (DCH). As per the chart available with the National Health Mission (NHM), Assam, a total of 20 PM Cares CV200 ventilators manufactured by Bharat Electronics Limited (BEL) were allocated to DCH in West Assam. But after the installation of four ventilators, the implementation of the plan was interrupted. This diversion of allocated ventilators may seem as an injustice to a minority populated district, where a large proportion of poor wage earners cannot afford to go to private hospitals and depend on this government hospital. But Dr. Manoj Chaudhary, Executive Director of NHM, Assam, said that the diversion of ventilators is inevitable.

"This is not a normal situation. Ventilators cannot be installed without ICUs and trained manpower. Wherever necessary, we have diverted some ventilators to facilitate facilities in an integrated space to help Covid patients. ” The Center has sent a total of 967 BEL ventilators in Assam since the launch of PM Cares Fund last year. Out of 967 ventilators, 826 have been installed and 141 are pending for installation, a statement from NHM, Assam stated. In the nearby South Salmara Mankachar district, there appears to be little preparation to deal with the Covid crisis, as none of the five ventilators allocated to the Hatsingamari Sub-Divisional Civil Hospital could be fully installed.
Sonitpur Civil Hospital got a big boost when the government allotted 10 ventilators to this important hospital in northern Assam. But here too, the installation of all ventilators is pending according to a recent report. Eight ventilators were allocated for Lakhimpur Medical College.

However, these are yet to be shipped from the NHM store. The reason for this is being told that the construction of the medical college is not complete. Nagaon MCH (Mother and Child Care) wing has the same position, where installation is pending for all 10 ventilators.


The existing government ICU facility at Nagaon Hospital is functioning with 23 ventilators. Therefore, a health official said, it is planned to transfer the pending 10 to the new medical college at Nagaon, once it is operational. Although the state's health department may face a difficult time during the audit, for unused ventilators in such a time of crisis, top officials of the health department said that they would get their share of ventilators at the right time for future use. have got it.


The official said, "The lack of infrastructure has hindered the installation. Such allocation does not happen again and again. ” A total of 50 ventilators were allocated to Diphu Medical College Hospital in East Karbi Anglong. Installation of only 15 ventilators has been completed, while the remaining 35 are still pending. The latest figures showed that all 10 ventilators are pending for installation at Cachar Civil Hospital. Then half of the 10 ventilators earmarked for Hailakandi Civil Hospital in the same Barak Valley region are pending for installation.

Related figures for RNB Civil Hospital in Kokrajhar, out of 20 allocations, eight installations are complete. There is no additional space available for installation in the hospital and eight ventilators are placed against the existing eight-bed ICU facility.

Similar is the case at the Tinsukia Civil Hospital, where 20 of the 35 allocated ventilators could not be installed due to lack of additional space. The hospital has 15 beds in the existing ICU facility. In Vishwanath district, where proper healthcare has always been a major issue for tea plantation workers, the health department managed to complete the installation of 12 of the 22 ventilators allocated to this northern Assam district. The remaining 10 are pending in Gohpur, as health officials said that no ICU is available to complete the installation of ventilators.

Input. TOI

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