Sunday, January 23, 2022

Supreme Court forms National Task Force for effective and transparent allocation of oxygen

The Supreme Court has constituted a 12-member National Task Force (NFT) to create a smooth channel for the “effective and transparent” allocation of liquid medical oxygen to all States and Union Territories.

This decision has been taken to ensure an allocation mechanism that works on a “scientific, rational and equitable basis” and ensures that all states and union territories fighting COVID-19 are met with their need for emergency medical oxygen.

Earlier, the Apex Court expressed its dissatisfaction over the “oxygen-for-bed” formula, which, the Court believes, does not consider that many COVID-19 patients in dire need of oxygen face unavailability of beds are confined to home care.

A bench led by Justice D.Y. Chandrachud issued a 24-page order on Saturday which stated that the formula should be replaced with a more suitable one and the problem of allocation of oxygen needs to be considered in newer ways.

Role and Responsibilities of NTF

The National Task Force consists of top medical experts and is responsible for assessing a methodology for allocating oxygen while also facilitating a public health response to the current second wave of the COVID19 Crisis.

Moreover, a 12-point term of reference is to be followed that includes assessment and making recommendations for the entire country based on the need for availability and distribution of medical oxygen and to facilitate auditing by sub-groups within each state/UT.

As per the order ruled by a bench of Justice DY Chandrachud and Justice MR Shah, the Union Cabinet Secretary will be the NTF convener while the Union Health Secretary is an ex-officio member.

In addition to this, other members of the task force include Bhabatosh Biswas, former Vice-Chancellor, West Bengal University of Health Sciences, Kolkata; Devender Singh Rana, Chairperson, Board of Management, Sir Ganga Ram Hospital, Delhi; Devi Prasad Shetty, Chairperson and Executive Director, Narayana Healthcare, Bengaluru; Gagandeep Kang, Professor, Christian Medical College, Vellore, Tamil Nadu; and JV Peter, Director, Christian Medical College, Vellore, Tamil Nadu, etc.

The NTF will also coordinate with public health institutions, government facilities and private hospitals. A sub-group of experts can also be formed on a regional basis in the specialised areas of Infectious Disease Modelling, Critical Care, Clinical Virology/Immunology and Epidemiology/Public health.

However, the Central government will continue making allocations of oxygen until the Task Force submits its recommendations concerning proposed modalities.

- Advertisement -spot_img
Latest news
Related news