Ujjain: Panic reigned at the RD Gardi Medical College (RDGMC) hospital, the alarm indicating that it was short of oxygen went off at 4.30 a.m. on Tuesday.

Staff here struggled, as 140 corona patients were supplied with oxygen. Officials, including an additional manifold, also rushed to RDGMC and made arrangements for the oxygen. They arranged for 50 cylinders and avoided impending tragedy. The hospital is currently operating with limited resources and doctors are said to be working under the shadow of fear every day, a staff member said requesting anonymity.

CM Shivraj Singh Chouhan of Madhya Pradesh and his coterie have made statements regarding ensuring an efficient oxygen supply and health services in the state over the past week, but such frightening events are puncturing their claims with a dose of reality. The condition in private and government hospitals is marred due to lack of oxygen.

Currently, RDGMC Hospital has a total of 140 oxygen beds for severe patients. The district tax collector “requested” that these be increased to 300.

Dean Dr MK Rathore provides some figures. According to him, a large oxygen cylinder cost 4,500 rupees, but is now available for 15,000 rupees. Even though we are willing to bear more than three times the cost of the order, we are not honored by the suppliers. Due to the flourishing black market, Rathore alleges that normal beds can be increased but oxygen beds cannot be increased.

The government has not yet paid Rs 19 cr

RDGMC Hospital Dean MK Rathore told media on Tuesday that since March 2020, the government has not made a payment to the facility within the terms of the contract for the treatment of Covid-19 patients. He said the government had not paid Rs 19 crore since last year. According to him, they must pay Rs 50,000 per day for the PPE kit, Rs 2.5 lakh per day for oxygen expenses and the salaries of doctors and other staff, among other expenses borne by the management of the hospital. Currently there is a contract for 200 beds with the government: 140 oxygen beds and 60 normal beds.