Install own oxygen plants with double the normal capacity: HC to Delhi hospitals

We are of the view that the large hospitals and nursing homes with 100 beds or more should install PSA plants which should have twice the capacity than their normal requirement, said HC Bench comprising Justices Vipin Sanghi and Jasmeet Singh.

THE DELHI High Court Thursday said it is “high time” the large hospitals and nursing homes in the national capital install their own pressure swing adsorption (PSA) oxygen plants with at least double their normal capacity. The court directed Delhi government’s Principal Secretary (Health) to discuss the issue with the health institutions and report to the court next week.

“The bitter experience that everyone in the NCT of Delhi has had with huge shortage of medical oxygen has certainly left a lesson to be learnt particularly by hospitals and nursing homes operating in Delhi,” said the division bench of Justices Vipin Sanghi and Jasmeet Singh in an order

The court said the demand for medical oxygen due to the earlier surge in Covid-19 cases went up by five times than normal consumption. It said the installation of the captive infrastructure by the hospitals would go a long way in reducing the dependence on outside sources for medical oxygen if a similar situation were to arise in future.

“Considering the fact that pandemic is once in a century event and, hopefully, we will see the end of it sooner than later, we are of the view that the large hospitals and nursing homes with 100 beds or more should install PSA plants which should have twice the capacity than their normal requirement,” added the court.

Similarly, the court said the smaller hospitals and nursing homes with 50 or more beds and less than 100 beds should also install the PSA plants or the required infrastructure which should be sufficient to meet their normal requirement.

The court also took note of Chairman Max Healthcare Dr Abhay Soi’s submission that hospitals would be willing to install PSA plants in the parking areas as that is the only open area available with them. The court also noted that Soi had also informed it that they should be allowed to make multi-level parking lot at their own costs.

“Since the installation of PSA plants would consume some open areas, it be appropriate for municipal corporations and DDA, wherever applicable, to bring about amends/relaxation of building bylaws with regard to ground coverage so that the PSA plants could be installed without affecting the parking spaces available with the hospitals/nursing homes,” the division bench said, while ordering the amicus curiae Senior Advocate Rajshekhar Rao to convene a meeting to discuss the matter with the chairpersons of the municipal corporations, Chairman of the DDA and the representatives of the hospitals having 100 beds or more.

The court further said the directions with regard to installation of the PSA plants or requisite infrastructure for medical oxygen will also apply to hospitals being run by the Delhi government, Centre and municipal corporations in the national capital as well the hospitals to be opened in future.

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