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Union Min Flags COVID Mismanagement in Bareilly: Writes to UP CM

Over the last 24 hours, 736 new COVID cases have been reported in Bareilly, the number of active cases is 6,387.

Published
COVID-19
3 min read
Union Minister Santosh Gangwar writes to UP CM highlighting oxygen shortage.
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Days after Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath denied any shortage of oxygen, Union Minister Santosh Gangwar wrote to CM Adityanath on Thursday, 6 May, highlighting a series of concerns, including oxygen shortage, black marketing of medical equipment including ventilators, and delays in hospital admissions in Bareilly.

Gangwar added that officials from the Health Department were not picking up calls. The Union minister also sought that oxygen plants be installed in the hospitals of Bareilly to meet the rising demand and the process of referring COVID patients to hospital be simplified.

Gangwar asserted that he hadn’t written against the government, but only passed the complaints of the people. He was quoted as saying, "I think the points they raised were valid and these can be investigated and decided on. I think oxygen is just a temporary problem. It will get solved. But there should be no black marketing."

What Did the Letter Say?

On Saturday, 8 May, Adityanath had accompanied Gangwar to Bareilly to take stock of the COVID facilities in the district. The day after the letter went viral, Chief Medical Officer of Bareilly Dr Sudhir Kumar Garg issued fresh instructions to health officials to be mindful of the issues raised by the MoS.

In the letter, the Lok Sabha MP from Bareilly said, multipara monitors, bipap machines, and ventilators were being sold under the counter at exaggerated prices.

The letter read, “I request you to fix the rates of these equipments on behalf of the government and that MSME-registered private hospitals should be given a discount,” Indian Express reported.

Citing the example of Madhya Pradesh, he suggested that, “The 50 percent concession is given to private and government hospitals as soon as possible so that the issue of oxygen is resolved.”

Earlier, Minister of State for Labor Welfare Sunil Bharala had written letters regarding lack of oxygen, beds, and remedies in hospitals in Meerut. Rajendra Agarwal, MP from Meerut-Hapur had also told the Chief Minister about the lack of oxygen in his area.

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The Union minister further complained, “I have been informed that despite having a referral letter, when a patient goes to a government hospital, he is asked to get another referral from the district hospital. The patient has to run from one place to another while his oxygen levels are continuously falling,” Indian Express reported.

Saying that this was a worrying issue, Gangwar added in his letter, “I request you to bring in a system where, when a patient is first referred, then all referral government hospitals are written on his prescription so that the patient does not have to run around.”

Though the suggestions were taken at face value, the CMO alleged that, “Maybe the lower-level officials have told some people that there is no referral and hence admission can’t be done. There is also an issue of patients coming from other districts because people from at least 15 districts come to Bareilly for treatment. We don’t know who has told the minister about the issue, but maybe it is people from other districts because officials may have asked them for referral.”

Gangwar also suggested that the facility for the registration for COVID vaccine should be available at hospitals under the Ayushman Bharat scheme.

Over the last 24 hours, 736 new COVID cases have been reported in Bareilly, the number of active cases is 6,387.

(With inputs from Indian Express)

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