The COVID-19 pandemic exposed vulnerabilities in healthcare systems worldwide, and one glaring concern was the availability of medical oxygen. Hospitals around the world faced an unprecedented demand for oxygen, leading to critical shortages.

While some strides have been made to address this issue, the struggle for medical oxygen access remains a pressing concern, particularly in low and middle-income countries (LMICs).


The Challenge of Reliable Medical Oxygen Access

In April 2021, India and many other countries faced a dire shortage of medical oxygen during the peak of the COVID-19 pandemic. This issue persists in LMICs beyond the pandemic’s peak.

According to a report by the Netherlands-based Access to Medicine Foundation, approximately half of healthcare facilities in LMICs lack reliable access to medical oxygen.

In fact, the report highlights that in 2021, 73 million people in LMICs required oxygen for various conditions, with only 22 million of them suffering from COVID-19. This demonstrates the widespread need for medical oxygen beyond pandemic-related emergencies.

Global Challenges in Medical Oxygen Access: blue oxygen tanks

The Role of Regional Companies

The report assessed the efforts of major global gas companies, such as Air Liquide, Air Products, Linde, Messer, Nippon Sanso Holdings Corporation, and SOL Group. While these companies have taken steps to address the issue, much work remains.

Even though CalOx is a regional company based in Southern California, we still play a crucial role in ensuring access to medical oxygen.

Global companies may have a broader reach, but regional players like ourselves are instrumental in addressing the issue within our communities.


Advocating for Sustainable Solutions

The report emphasizes the need for long-term solutions to ensure sustainable access to medical oxygen, which is included in the World Health Organization’s Model List of Essential Medicines

While some companies have taken some initiatives, the report suggests that more comprehensive, ongoing planning is required to guarantee a stable supply beyond the immediate global health crisis.

Global Challenges in Medical Oxygen Access: green oxygen tanks

Looking Forward

CalOx and other regional companies play a pivotal role in addressing this issue, especially in their communities.

For more information on CalOx’s efforts and how they contribute to the cause, please don’t hesitate to get in touch with us.

Together, we can work towards a future where access to medical oxygen is reliable and uninterrupted, ensuring the well-being of communities in Southern California and beyond.