Bhatinda: The government has dropped its plan to provide the facility of ventilators for new born children and infants under the Public Private Partnership (PPP) project at the Special Neonatal Care Unit (SNCU) of the Bathinda Civil Hospital. This could prove to be a major impediment in healthcare provisions for infants.
Commenting on the Government’s decision Vini Mahajan, Principal Secretary Health, said, “A team of the Health Department has evaluated all aspects of the project and decided that the government will not tie up with private hospitals. We have planned to boost the government sector by strengthening infrastructure, so that the poor can be benefited. There is no plan as of now to bring the ventilator facility at the SNCU, Bathinda, as patients can go to Faridkot Medical College and Hospital or to Government Rajindra Hospital, Patiala.”
“Recently, the government had allocated the funds to Faridkot Medical College and Hospital to boost its infrastructure. In order to provide the ventilator facility, the number of beds will also be increased from two to ten to provide there,” she added.
The civil Hospital SNCU has the highest admission rate of infants in the state. Earlier, patients used to go to nearest private hospital in Kotkapura. The Kotkapura hospital offered free treatment under the government’s PPP project for ventilator facility to poor children.
The poor in Bhatinda are forced to bear costly treatment of private hospitals in the absence of this scheme at the Civil Hospital. SNCU Bathinda with a capacity for 12 patient admissions was setup in November 2012.
The government had under the PPP model initiated and tied up with private hospitals to provide free ventilator facility for infants who are born weighing less than 1,200 gm or suffering with breathing problem. The CMC Ludhiana and the Chandigarh Child Care Hospital , Kotakpura are the two hospitals providing the facility under the PPP model.
While Kotkapura’s private hospital has a six ventilator beds capacity, the Faridkot college can accommodate only two patients. Ventilator facility in private hospitals in Bathinda or Kotkapura cost between Rs. 4000 & Rs.5000 per day.
Out of 140 infant admissions every month at the Civil Hospital in Bathinda, 12 are referred to Kotkapura or Faridkot hospitals for ventilator facility. The PPP scheme at private hospitals ended on September 6, 2013.
A pediatrician preferring to stay anonymous stated “The mortality rate of infants went down with the provision of the ventilator facility being given in the private hospital at Kotkapura and the government hospital in Faridkot under the PPP model. The Bathinda hospital is under level II and we refer only those infants who have less than 1,200 gm of weight. The provision of a ventilator in our hospital can overcome all problems and would benefit the patients. The government should provide the ventilator facility to our hospital or it should promote the PPP model for the ventilator facility.”