Rising costs leave oxygen makers panting, yet to choke hospitals | Nagpur News
Nagpur: The Covid outbreak has also caused medical oxygen manufacturers to gasp due to rising overheads. There is no shortage of the product, but units involved in the production of the gas are facing difficult times due to increasing costs.
In addition to hospitals, the gas is also used in industry. Since industrial activity was low, demand had fallen to negligible levels from March to May. However, the units were kept operational to meet hospital demand. The units suffered losses from March to May as the supply of hospitals was insufficient to cover the operating costs for the entire facility.
Even if industrial demand has picked up, that’s not enough, according to sources in the gas manufacturing business. Overhead costs have also increased significantly. The largest input costs are the electricity bill and fuel. Over time, these overheads have increased by 10% and 25% respectively, and have hit margins.
“After all, margins are affected and the industry is planning to revise hospitals’ tariffs. It’s not that an interest rate hike will be imposed anytime soon, but manufacturers have certainly started negotiations, ”said an oxygen maker, asking for anonymity.
With manufacturers looking forward to negotiating a rate hike, hospitals have said they are in a comfortable position. In fact, due to the general decrease in admissions, oxygen demands have decreased, they said.
Dr. Anup Marar, Director of the Orange City Hospital and Research Institute (OCHRI), said: “80% of the beds in all private hospitals are already reserved for management without Covid, but there are not many Covid patients in the private facilities either. ”
Dr. Milind Fulpatil, an official on the special services (OSD) of the government’s Superspecialty Hospital (SSH), said a private agency had supplied them with oxygen and there was no problem with obtaining it. The Superintendent of the Indira Gandhi Government Medical College and Hospital (IGGMCH), Dr. Sagar Pandey, also confirmed that there is no oxygen starvation.
There are a handful of oxygen manufacturers in town. Those who provide oxygen bottles buy them in liquid form from a larger unit.
A source in one of the units said, “We have already made a small increase in prices for some hospitals, but there is a possibility of further increases. If the hospitals don’t agree, we may have to weigh on the industry. “
The rate of oxygen is set by the government. It comes to Rs 18 per cubic meter of gas. This is the top ceiling or the MRP. “So far, the rates have been within the upper limit. Manufacturers are now calling for a hike, of course within the allowable limits, ”said a source at a cylinder supplier. Prices are different for each hospital depending on the location, as transportation costs are also reimbursed, he said.