Government of India has been supporting the efforts of States and UTs for effective management of COVID patients in hospital care, under the ‘Whole of Government” approach since last year. In order to augment the existing hospital infrastructure, the Union Government has been centrally procuring and providing States/UTs/Central Hospitals/ Institutes with essential medical devices including ventilators since April 2020.
There have been some media reports suggesting that Government of India supplied ventilators (supported by PM CARES) to GGS Medical College and Hospital, Faridkot, Punjab are lying unused as a result of technical glitches which have not been resolved due to poor after-sales support by the manufacturers. These reports seem to be unfounded, not having the full information on the matter.
Ventilators were available in very limited numbers in Government Hospitals across the country at the beginning of the pandemic last year. Moreover, very limited manufacturing of ventilators was taking place in the country and most of the suppliers abroad were not in a position to make supplies of ventilators in large quantities to India. That is when the local manufacturers were encouraged to produce “Make in India” Ventilators to address the huge projected demand of the country and orders placed on them. Many of them were first time manufacturers of the ventilators. The ventilator models went through rigorous screening, technical demonstration and clinical validation process in the very limited time available for the same, through domain knowledge experts, and after their approval, these were put into supplies.
There are a few States which have received the ventilators but are yet to get these installed in their hospitals. Union Health Secretary has written to seven such States on 11th April 2021 which still have more than 50 ventilators lying uninstalled with them for the last 4-5 months. They have been requested to get the installation expedited so that the ventilators can be put to optimal use.
With reference to the recent media report regarding 71 of 80 AGVA make Ventilators being non-functional or faulty at the GGS Medical College and Hospital, Faridkot, Punjab it is clarified that 88 Ventilators have been supplied by Bharat Electronics Limited (BEL) and five by AGVA. After successful installation and commissioning, these Ventilators were provided with Final Acceptance Certificate by the hospital authorities.