Mumbai: The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) is spending crores of rupees to provide free medical facilities to citizens in civic run hospitals, but for the last few months, there has been an acute shortage of medicines in these hospitals. Even after corporators have repeatedly raised this issue, there has been no move to ease this shortage. Now, BMC hospitals have run out of medicines for diabetes. This has left the poor and senior citizens with no option but to buy the medicine from private chemists. Leader of opposition, Ravi Raja, Samajwadi Party group leader Rais Shaikh and Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) group leader Rakhi Jadhav requested chairman Yashwant Jadhav and Mayor Vishwanath Mahadeshwar to call a special meeting on this issue.
The issue has been raised repeatedly at standing committee meetings. Earlier, the BMC purchased all medicines under Schedule 12 in bulk. Afterwards, the purchase procedure was decentralised and began to be need-based. Superintendents and deans of hospitals began to purchase medicines, to ensure there was no scarcity. Despite this, hospitals are reeling under a drug shortage. People who visit civic hospitals to avail free medical facilities are now facing a problem.“I visited the Hakim Ajmal Khan clinic in Nagpada, where the doctor told me that medicines for diabetes were out of stock for the past 15 days, after which I spoke to Padmaja Keskar, the executive health officer, BMC. She too said that in almost all hospitals in Mumbai, there is a shortage of medicine” said Rais Shaikh. According to another source, injection stocks too are running low and are just enough to last for the month.