PM CARES approves funds for installation of 551 oxygen generation plants

On 5 January, the PM CARES Fund had allocated Rs. 201.58 crores for the installation of an additional 162 dedicated PSA medical oxygen generation plants inside public health facilities in the country.

By Newsmeter Network  Published on  25 April 2021 8:20 AM GMT
PM CARES approves funds for installation of 551 oxygen generation plants

Hyderabad: To boost the availability of oxygen to hospitals, the PM CARES Fund has given in-principle approval for the allocation of funds for the installation of 551 dedicated pressure swing absorption (PSA) medical oxygen generation plants inside public health facilities in the country.

The Prime Minister has directed that these plants be made functional as soon as possible, adding they will serve as a major boost to oxygen availability in the districts.

These dedicated plants will be established in identified government hospitals in district headquarters in various states and UTs. The procurement will be done through the ministry of health and family welfare.

On 5 January, the PM CARES Fund had allocated Rs. 201.58 crores for the installation of an additional 162 dedicated PSA medical oxygen generation plants inside public health facilities in the country.

It is pertinent to mention that an independent investigation by Scroll.in revealed that in more than 60 hospitals across 14 states where the new oxygen plants are expected to come up, only 11 units had been installed and just five were operational.

The health ministry put out a series of tweets, confirming that most new oxygen plants were not functional. "Out of 162 PSA oxygen plants, 33 have been installed," it said, adding, "By end of April 2021, 59 will be installed. By end of May 2021, 80 will be installed." It is likely the ministry meant a total of 80 plants will be installed by end of May – less than half the number of new sanctioned plants – because the numbers would otherwise add up to 172 plants.

The Prime Minister's Office said the basic aim behind establishing PSA oxygen generation plants at government hospitals in the district headquarters is to further strengthen the public health system and ensure that each of these hospitals has a captive oxygen generation facility. "Such an in-house captive oxygen generation facility would address the day to day medical oxygen needs of these hospitals and the district. In addition, the liquid medical oxygen (LMO) would serve as a "top up" to the captive oxygen generation. Such a system will go a long way in ensuring that government hospitals in the districts do not face sudden disruption of oxygen supplies and have access to adequate uninterrupted oxygen supply to manage the COVID-19 patients and other patients needing such support," the PMO said.

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