PHCs in Handwara run short of basic, lifesaving drugs

Three primary health centres at Handwara in north Kashmir’s Kupwara district are running short of basic medicines, locals said.

Locals complained that the Primary Health Centres at Chowgul, Nutnussa and Magam do not have even the basic drugs available with them. “Every patient has to buy the drugs from the market,” they complained.

“My mother is admitted at PHC Chowgul. I buy every single medicine from the market. Even the drip set, IV fluid and cotton I had to procure from the market,” Tawkeed, an attendant said.

He added: “The doctors prescribed some medicine and asked me to admit my mother. When I went to the pharmacy room, I was asked to get the drugs from the market as they were running short of medicines.”

A doctor at PHC Chowgul said there are no lifesaving drugs available in the hospital which are important for any emergency.

“It pains us to see the poor attendants making rounds of the hospital to get a little help, we collect money sometimes to get their medicines,” he said.

Same is the case with two more PHCs at Magam and Nutnussa.

“We have to visit Handwara or Kupwara to get the medicine as there is no medicine available inside or outside the hospital,” said Javed of Nutnussa.

“We only get the consultation at PHC Nutnusa. For the tests or medicines we are forced to visit Kupwara or Handwara area,” he said.

However, the authorities expressed helplessness. They said that the government has given the contract of supplying the medicines to the hospitals to Jammu and Kashmir Medical Supplies Corporation (JKMSC) and they cannot directly purchase the medicines from out of the hospital funds.

“This hospital is running short of the medicines for months. We have yet to get the medicines from the JKMSC,” Block Medical Officer Handwara Dr Mummar said.