Bombay HC pulls up Centre over defective ventilators supplied under PM Cares
Bombay HC called on Centre to resolve the issue of defective ventilators to treat patients
The Aurangabad bench of the Bombay High Court on Friday slammed the Union government over defective ventilators deployed to various hospitals in Maharashtra’s Marathwada region under the PM-Cares Fund.
The bench consisting of Justices RV Ghuge and BU Debadwar lashed out at the Centre for defending the faulty ventilators, claiming that doctors and paramedics at hospitals were not properly trained to HC that the 150 ventilators sent to the hospitals in Aurangabad were never supplied through PM Cares Fund.
He further stressed the ventilators were manufactured by Rajkot-based Jyoti CNC Automation Limited in line with the affidavit submitted by the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare (MoHFW) to the court previously. Responding to the statement, the court demanded the government to refrain from playing a “blame game”.
“We would also appreciate if the MoHFW refrains from questioning the reports of the medical experts and instead respects such reports in the larger interest of the society and concentrates on rectifying the said machines.” the bench said.Earlier this week, the court called on the government to report about the measures it would take to resolve the issue of faulty ventilators after 113 of the 150 ventilators sent to several hospitals in the region were found faulty after unboxing.
Reportedly, 17 out of the total ventilators were sent to the Government Medical College and Hospital in Aurangabad. However, six out of them developed serious defects. After finding issues with many unboxed ventilators, the GMCH authorities are yet to open 37 remaining ventilators for the treatment of patients.
In its affidavit, Jyoti CNC maintained that the GMCH lacks adequate infrastructure and failed to follow the user manual properly due to which the ventilators were not functioning as needed. They further claimed that around300 ventilators sent to other states and regions of Maharashtra were functioning properly.
Meanwhile, the court underlined the faulty ventilators has put the lives of patients at major health risks. It called on the government to take back the defective ventilators and replace them with good quality machinery for the welfare of patients. A number of other hospitals have asked the central authorities to take the faulty ventilators back.
The high court also stressed the need for holding the companies supplying defective ventilators accountable for their actions at a time when the country is grappling with a deadly second wave of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The court noted that various ventilators provided by other manufacturers, including Bajaj Auto, Garware Polyester, and Hindalco etc., were perfectly operational.
It is important to note that various states including Maharashtra, Jharkhand, Punjab and Madhya Pradesh have complained about faulty ventilators sent tohospitals across the country under the PM-Cares Fund.
In Punjab, around 237of the 320 ventilators procured through the PM Cares Fund by three government medical colleges were found non-functional and defective for use. Similarly, around 50 percent of ventilators received under PM Cares Fund are lying unused in Karnataka hospitals due to several flaws in the machinery.