Increased diesel use burns a hole in hospitals' pockets

Given that hospitals cannot take a break from providing essential services, managements say they have no choice but to expend money on diesel to ensure uninterrupted power supply.

Fortis Hospital’s associate vice president P Davison says the hospital has bought about 35,000 litres of diesel in the last five days, while the average consumption by the two generators in the hospital on other days is just 3,000-4,000 litres a month.

“The government should ensure that hospitals get uninterrupted power on priority basis. There should be an alternative mechanism in place during such situations,” Davison says.

Davison adds that though they have been footing the bill themselves, the cost incurred by hospitals to provide continuous power supply may eventually trickle down to the patients if the situation remains unchanged.

Lakeside Hospital’s director Dr H Paramesh voices the same concerns. “Diesel consumption by our two generators has definitely increased. The generators used to consume 100 litres in a month. Now, the same quantity has been used in less than five days,” he says.

While private hospitals can fork out money for constant supply of power, government hospitals cannot help but be choosy.

For instance, KC General Hospital, which has two generators with a combined capacity of 112.5 kVA, has prioritised the supply of power to operation theatres, dialysis, labour room, emergency ward and laboratory.

“The generators had consumed about 200 litres of diesel for the entire month till September 25. However, the consumption of diesel by generators in the last five days has come to 250 litres,” medical superintendent Dr Chandraprabha said.

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