Mumbai: Acute shortage of medicines as stocks are being sold to chemists outside hospitals

Mumbai: There is an acute shortage of medicines in civic hospitals. Among the important medicines currently out of stock are insulin, antibiotics and some injections.

Most hospitals have used up 60 per cent of their stock of essential medicines. To tackle this ongoing shortage, the health department of Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) plans to float a short tender. According to sources, medicines are being sold to chemists, whose stores are located outside these hospitals.

The Free Press Journal had reported in its edition dated December 6, 2018 how a two-year stock of medicine had been used up in just one year. The civic body had spent Rs 46 crore to procure medicines in September 2017. This stock was supposed to last for two years — until September 2019 but hospitals seem to have run through this stock, which included an additional 40 per cent stock over the two-year quota, well ahead of time.

Idzes Kundan, additional municipal commissioner (AMC), said they had also constituted a committee to investigate the issue and had taken action against companies which failed to deliver the stock on time. “We asked for the list of medicines unavailable in hospitals. All the hospital authorities have been warned to submit a report within 15 days to the deputy dean of the health department.

Once the list is compiled, we will float a short tender to overcome the shortage of medicines,” said Kundan. A health official said they have asked hospital authorities to compile a list of medicines which are unavailable and submit it to the health department. “This move is to ensure that hospitals do not run out of stock in case of emergencies,” said Dr Sarika Patil, the administrative officer of the hospitals.

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