Government hospitals in Kerala facing severe shortage of drugs
news Monday, January 05, 2015 - 05:30
The News Minute | October 16, 2014 | 09:05 am IST Government hospitals in Kerala are facing several problems including lack of basic facilities and poor maintenance. However, one major issue faced by these hospitals at present is the shortage of drugs. Kerala Medical Services Corporation Ltd. (KMSCL), mandated to procure drugs for government health-care institutions, is unable to meet the demand for the products. Including the medicines for Hepatitis, H1N1 and Malaria, there is a shortage of 105 drugs in these hospitals. Though tender was put out for the supply of the medicines and X –ray developers , no distributors turned up. High-end medicines in government hospitals and medical colleges should be supplied free of cost, following a government decision. So far three tenders were announced for 771 drugs, but only got distributors for 666 among them. KMSCL says that the rest of the medicines will be brought through local purchase and this shortage will not affect the hospitals' functioning, reported Malayala Manorama on October 15 . On a daily basis, thousands of poor patients from various parts of the state come to these hospitals in hope of availing better treatment as they cannot afford private hospitals. But as the procedures for the local purchase is complex, patients are forced to buy medicines from private medical stores. Reports says that there is a chance of excluding these 105 medicines from the next tender announcement. In the last budget, 242 crores had been granted to KMSCL. Though this amount was credited to the account of the corporation, because of the financial crisis the government did not grant the permission to use it. Kerala State Drugs and Pharmaceuticals (KSDP), the public drug distribution agency, has also stopped the distribution since they are not being paid.