Goa doctors rue lack of hospital beds, oxygen, focus on VIP patients
Panaji, May 2 (IANS) Despite public assurances by both Chief Minister Pramod Sawant and Health Minister Vishwajit Rane, Goa's Covid health facilities are falling short of oxygen supply, a government doctors association said on Sunday.
In a letter to the Dean of the state's top health facility, the Goa Medical College, the Goa Association of Resident Doctor also said that despite dealing with more than two dozen patients at a time, resident doctors in government hospitals are being pressured to give preferential treatment to "VIP patients".
"The oxygen supply in various Covid wards is not even close to sufficient. The central oxygen flow delivers very low flow oxygen at times and that is inadequate to keep NIVs and ventilators working effectively," the association said in a statement, adding that replacement of oxygen cylinders takes as much as three to four hours, even in cases where patients' oxygen saturation levels drop to as low as 60 per cent.
"The bed situation is even worse. There are critical patients who have to be managed on trolleys and floors and kept on ventilators in the critical Covid wards," the statement also said, questioning claims made by "higher authorities" about no paucity of beds and oxygen in Goa's Covid treatment facilities.
The statement also claims that patients have died in Goa's Covid facilities due to shortage of oxygen.
The association has also claimed of a VIP culture prevalent in hospitals even during the ongoing pandemic, when a single doctor is in-charge of treating 30 patients at a time.
"Residents in Covid casualty who are managing more than 30 new patients at a time are told to see these 'VIP' patients on a preferential basis and get them admitted fast, even if many times, they don't require admission," the statement said.