#GorakhpurTragedy: Hospital in Jhansi also faced oxygen supply issues

19 Aug 2017 | Written by Abheet Sethi; Edited by Gogona Saikia

The Maharani Laxmi Bai Medical College in Jhansi, UP, is the main hospital catering to the vast Bundelkhand region.

Worryingly, the 700-bed hospital has just one vendor to supply oxygen tanks and that too mostly on credit.

This has raised concerns that the hospital could suffer a similar tragedy as Gorakhpur's BRD Hospital, where over 70 children died due to an alleged oxygen-supply disruption.

In context: #GorakhpurTragedy: Jhansi hospital could've been next BRD

17 Aug 2017Gorakhpur: DM's report blames hospital, but who's actually at fault?

On August 17, the Gorakhpur DM released a report on last week's tragedy when over 70 children died.

Though government officials haven't confirmed its contents, the findings reportedly blame doctors and staff of the hospital but stop short of blaming the government.

Contrary to government denial, the report claims oxygen deprivation was the cause of the deaths. But a central committee report claims otherwise.

19 Aug 2017#GorakhpurTragedy: Hospital in Jhansi also faced oxygen supply issues

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Details Tender for oxygen supply expired March 2017

The hospital owed oxygen supplier Gauri Gas Rs. 36 lakh in unpaid payments from 2016.

The contract to the supplier expired in March 2017, but there's been no fresh tender process. Meanwhile, Gauri Gas continues supplying to the hospital.

Authorities have cleared the supplier's dues up to June 2017 after the UP government released funds on August 14.

SituationFormer doctor: Jhansi hospital has 'no backup in place'

"Imagine if this vendor backs out over delayed payment. The college has no back up in place," a former doctor told Hindustan Times.

College principal NS Sengar said the oxygen vendor couldn't be paid because government funds, received by last year, were spent on buying medicines, injections, and chemicals.

Sengar said a repeat of the Gorakhpur tragedy is unlikely.

What happened?Jhansi medical college principal sent SOS to clear supplier's dues

Following the Gorakhpur tragedy, Sengar reportedly sent an SOS to the state government to release Rs. 36 lakh for the oxygen vendor.

The hospital has 95% occupancy on normal days, consuming 120 to 150 jumbo size oxygen cylinders daily.

If fresh oxygen stocks don't arrive, the hospital maintains a reserve of 25 to 50 cylinders.

The hospital also faces a staff and equipment shortage.