Deal Firmly With Health Mafia

If there is a sector in the state which depresses you with an endless bad news, it is the health sector. As a series of reports, carried by this paper, have underlined, the healthcare in the state remains deeply dysfunctional and it is not only medical professionals who are to blame for this state of affairs. Yes, many health professionals through their callousness have only contributed to the growing public cynicism about the functioning of our healthcare institutions. And if anybody needed a fresh reminder about this, it came in the form of the death of two newborns in District Hospital Baramulla due to blatant negligence of the staff there.  The infants who were under observation in Open Care Warmers in the hospital’s special unit died after the staff failed to turn on generator following the power-cut.  But the real problems with the healthcare are structural in nature. For example, the grossly inadequate infrastructure, shortfall of qualified staff and of course the poor management of the healthcare institutions. And to compound the mess several fold further is the take over of the drug mafia which has all but deprived the people of the access to fair and reasonably priced medicine. It is here also that the failure of the state government speaks the loudest. And this failure is not only in dealing firmly with the medical stores in various hospitals who are selling medicines at market rates and extending their stay through court cases but also in taking the institutional steps needed to provide cheap and quality medicine to the people. The government’s proposal to open fair price stores under Jan Aushadhi Scheme has failed to materialise despite the fact that these stores provide generic medicines at rates which are 60-70 per cent less than the branded medicines. Government can also follow the institutional mechanisms adopted by the states like Rajasthan and Tamil Nadu. Their respective Medical Services Corporations ensure provision of all essential drugs and medicines at reasonable rates to the government medical institutions by adopting a streamlined procedure for their procurement, storage and distribution. One fails to understand what is stopping the coalition government to adopt this mechanism in the state.

Lastupdate on : Wed, 19 Dec 2012 21:30:00 Makkah time
Lastupdate on : Wed, 19 Dec 2012 18:30:00 GMT
Lastupdate on : Thu, 20 Dec 2012 00:00:00 IST

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