At Vadodara’s SSG hospital, OSD, medical superintendent spar over ‘shortage’ of oxygen

On Saturday evening, Special Duty Officer and Rao and Medical Superintendent Dr. Aiyer entered into an argument on the hospital premises where Rao arrived for an inspection after receiving complaints.

OFFICER ON Special Duty (OSD) for Covid-19 in Vadodara, Vinod Rao, has issued a showcause notice to Medical Superintendent of SSG Hospital Dr Ranjan Aiyer for “grave negligence” after receiving complaints that patients coming to Vadodara for treatment from Chhota Udepur district were waiting in ambulances inside the hospital premises for nearly four hours because the hospital had “run out of oxygen cylinders” needed to ferry the patient into a ward from the ambulance (s), authorities said.

On Saturday evening, Rao and Aiyer entered into an argument on the hospital premises where Rao arrived for an inspection after receiving such complaints.

Aiyer told him that the cylinders had been “sent for refilling” and the hospital was trying to “cope with the situation”. The reply, however, did not convince Rao, who termed as “gross negligence” on the part of the hospital that the patients had been waiting for over three hours.

Rao issued a showcause notice to Aiyer, seeking an explanation why sufficient stock of oxygen bottles on standby was not ensured.

Rao told mediapersons at the hospital, “This is gross negligence and I am issuing a showcause notice to the [hospital] Superintendent. The issue, meanwhile, will be resolved within ten minutes. There are not more than four ambulances and we are shifting them immediately to the extension Covid facility at Samaras Hostel.”

Meanwhile, relatives of one of the Covid patients, who hail from Chhota Udepur, claimed that the hospital had told them that the patient could not be shifted into the ward because “oxygen had run out”.

“We came from Chhota Udepur in an ambulance and first took the patient to Dabhoi, where we were told to go to Vadodara. When we arrived here, we were told that the hospital cannot admit the patient owing to lack of oxygen and that it was “our call” now on the next course of action,” a relative said.

Aiyer said there was “no shortage of oxygen” at SSG Hospital but pointed to “lack of timely action” on the part of the hospital authorities.

Aiyer told mediapersons, “I leave the decision of the notice to the authorities. There is no negligence. We are doing our best in the situation. Our vehicle has gone to refill the oxygen cylinder and will be back in an hour. We also signed an agreement with a new agency on Saturday for timely supply of oxygen. I have tried my best.”

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