Trauma centre deaths: Pvt firm blacklisted

Holding the private contractor responsible for the deaths of four patients admitted to the ICU at the Sushruta Trauma Center in December last year, the Delhi government on Tuesday blacklisted PES Installation Pvt Ltd (PESIPL).

The company was in charge of supplying oxygen to the trauma centre, where on December 4, a glitch in the manifold room led to oxygen supply to the ICU being cut off. This resulted in the death of four patients.

Health Minister Dr A K Walia on Tuesday said a committee constituted to probe the tragedy had held PESIPL responsible.

"The committee has come to the conclusion that PESIPL is accountable and responsible for the lapses at the trauma centre. The company has been debarred from participating in any tender process or contract agreement with any Delhi government-run hospital for two years," Walia said.

He said after the incident, an FIR had been lodged against the company under various sections of the Indian Penal Code.

According to Walia, the blacklisted company had not followed the standard procedures and had failed in its duty to ensure the safe supply of oxygen from the manifold room to the ICU.

"The company had also deployed untrained technicians at the STC and that too in inadequate strength to operate the oxygen supply system," Walia said. He said other hospitals in Delhi, which had outsourced services had been directed to closely monitor the functioning of the private contractors.

Senior officials of the Health department said Lok Nayak Hospital and Guru Teg Bahadur Hospital had awarded maintenance contracts to PESIPL.

"Both hospitals have been asked to terminate services and begin the process of issuing a tender process for a new contractor at the earliest," a senior official said. He said regular maintenance would be carried out by the staff of the hospital or the Delhi government.

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