THD NewsDesk, NEW DELHI: Addressing questions raised in Rajya Sabha on 16th September, Minister of State Ministry of Health and Family Welfare (MoS MoH&FW) Ashwini Choubey announced the allocation of Rs 898.93 crores for the provision of ventilators. The reserve from PM CARES Fund would be utilised for procuring the 30,000 ICU ventilators from Bharat Electronics. Bharat Electronics, a public sector enterprise of the Defence Ministry, would be responsible for the installation and commissioning of the ventilators as well.
Responding to fellow MP Rajiv Satav, upper house member Ashwini Choubey informed that 32,109 ventilators have already been dispensed to various states. The states have been allotted ventilators on a need-basis. Prerequisites are the urgency of requirement and COVID-19 case statistics. In addition to that, 20,916 ventilators have been provided to government hospitals throughout the country. Moreover, 871 out of the 2894 ventilators allocated by the Government have been already installed in central institutions.
STATE WISE ALLOCATION-
- Maharashtra- 4434 allocated and 3131 installed
- Andhra Pradesh- 3960 allocated and 3648 installed
- Gujarat- 2500 allocated and 2329 installed
- Uttar Pradesh- 2000 allocated and 1233 installed
The Minister reassured an adequate supply of ventilators to be provided to all States/ Union Territories. The respective state governments are required to specify the number of ventilators required so that the budget can be allotted for the same.
Earlier, the Central Government had affirmed that Rs 2000 crores had been dedicated to acquiring Made in India ventilators to combat the Covid-19 pandemic.
However, the announcement has encountered resistance from opposition members and activists alike, regarding the discrepancies in the prices of ventilators ordered from different companies.
“AgVa Healthcare had quoted a price of Rs 1,50,000 per ventilator,” contended Congress spokesperson Govind Vallabh on Tuesday. He added, “When the ventilator is available at Rs 1,50,000 per piece then why PM CARES had allocated Rs 4,00,000 per ventilator? Where is this extra money going?”
RTI activist Anjali Bhardwaj had recently filed for application details of the distribution of monetary aid and supply of ventilators in PM CARE funded hospitals. Consequently, the RTI responded to Bhardwaj brought to light the wide variations in the cost of ventilators, hinting at a probable ‘ventilator scam’.
SOURCE: Express Healthcare