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Hospital says it won’t be responsible for ‘mishap’

Jaipur Golden Hospital hangs disclaimer after recent deaths

A week after 20 critically ill patients died over one night, which was “linked” to an oxygen crisis in Jaipur Golden Hospital, a notice was put outside the hospital’s emergency department that it won’t be responsible for “any mishap” due to “supply of oxygen”.

The notice stuck on a barricade outside the emergency read: “This is to inform you that due to erratic supply of oxygen you are kindly advised to make alternative arrangements for the safety of patients/your patients. In case of any mishap due to supply of oxygen hospitals, doctors and management will not be held responsible for any consequences [sic].”

However, the hospital claimed that there was no oxygen shortage as on Friday. “The oxygen situation is slightly better. Our current oxygen stock would last for 24 hours,” said D.K. Baluja, Medical Director of the hospital. But the hospital is not currently admitting new patients. Relatives of patients also said that they were not facing any issues related to oxygen.

Arun Kumar, 46, whose relative is admitted to the hospital, said there were no major problems at present. “We needed ICU, but we didn’t get an ICU. Currently, they have not told us to get oxygen or informed us that there is any problem with the oxygen supply. But no new admission is happening due to the ongoing oxygen shortage in Delhi,” he said.

Not hospital’s blame

Abhishek Jain, 35, lost his mother and father to COVID-19 while being admitted at the hospital, but he said he won’t blame the hospital. “We won’t blame anyone, the hospital or the doctor. The work they are doing, even if they are doing 50%, at a time when others are not stepping out, they are putting their lives on the line,” said, Mr. Jain, whose mother died on April 22 and father on Friday.

Two oxygen cylinders were also found at the parking of the hospital and one of them had the name “Beena” written at several places on it.

“We are not taking new patients. After taking new patients and if there is no oxygen and someone dies, then who will we blame?” one of the security guards said.

There was no rush or queues at the hospital on Friday. A 24-year-old woman got emergency care for her COVID-19 positive mother at the hospital after multiple requests, but the hospital said they don’t have vacant beds to admit her.

Multiple hospitals are still running at a reduced bed capacity due to the oxygen crisis and many are waiting for oxygen refill, as the stock left would last only for a couple of hours. Rajiv Gandhi Super Speciality Hospital, which had reduced the bed capacity from 650 to 350, due to oxygen shortage has stopped admissions on Thursday night, said officials.

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