Medicines disappear from SMHS Hospital



Srinagar, Apr 24: A day after Central team landed here to collect samples of various doubtful drugs from the government-run hospitals in Kashmir, many life saving medicines disappeared from SMHS here with authorities claiming that drug shortage has hit the hospital.
According to the sources the hospital is presently short of various antibiotics, anticancer and cardiology related drugs. “In most of the cases, people are paying higher prices to get medicines as chemists in the market sell drugs on huge margins. This puts a huge burden on their pockets,” an attendant said.
“This is the worst shortage I have ever seen,” said a hospital pharmacist on the condition of anonymity. “The most troubling aspect is that critical drugs necessary for cancer care, surgery and heart ailments are short for which there are limited alternatives,” he added. According to the pharmacist, there are around 100 drugs that are in short supply and about 30 of these are essential drugs used to treat serious diseases or medical conditions.
“Despite patients with different ailments, the hospital provides single antibiotic Ceftriaxone to most of them,” sources said. While this antibiotic, manufactured by a particular company, is under scanner after some patients developed allergic reaction due to its use, the doctors are now forced to write expensive antibiotics available in the market. Sources said the shortage has been caused by lengthy and flawed codal formalities laid down by Purchase Committees for purchase of drugs and equipments.
“The hospital authorities couldn’t find any approved source for many drugs and equipments in the tendering process due to the Lowest Price bid system followed in every hospital regarding the purchase system,” said an official, wishing anonymity.
“It is the essential requirement as per the terms and conditions of the Purchase Committees. As per the guidelines the purchases are to be made after fulfilling technical formalities. Such procedure does not emphasize on the quality and analytical control of drugs and equipments,” the official said.
For example, a multinational pharmaceuticals company makes good quality cancer medications with certain price as per their quality standards. When codal issues (like lowest bid) came in the way, the hospital was faced with limited supplies of an array of good quality cancer drugs.
"The shortage of some basic drugs jeopardize patient care, it also encourages the drug mafia in the hospitals,” said a doctor.
When contacted, the Medical Superintendent of the Hospital, Dr Nazir Ahmad Choudhary, admitted that there was shortage of certain drugs in the hospital. “Some essential drugs are definitely short in the hospital, but we can’t purchase every drug as we have limited budget for drugs from which we purchase only those drugs which are consumed by large number of patients in the hospital,” he explained.

Lastupdate on : Wed, 24 Apr 2013 21:30:00 Makkah time
Lastupdate on : Wed, 24 Apr 2013 18:30:00 GMT
Lastupdate on : Thu, 25 Apr 2013 00:00:00 IST

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