The Directorate of Medical Education and Research (DMER) has been given an additional charge for procuring medicines and overcoming the shortage of essential medicines required at the state-run hospitals and medical colleges daily. This comes after the Haffkine Bio-Pharma in Parel was delaying or failed to provide medicines to the hospitals which caused inconvenience to the patients.
“Due to various technical and administrative reasons, there was a delay in the supply of medicines to the Government Medical Colleges and hospitals under the Medical Education Department by executing the tender process through Haffkine Corporation. The matter of taking measures to complete the pending procurement process of medicines and other items through the purchase room of Haffkine Corporation was under the consideration of the government,” read the government resolution (GR).
A senior officer from the DMER on condition of anonymity said, "It was a long pending decision as they were getting several complaints from the hospital for delay in medicine procurement from Haffkine Biopharmaceutical."
Meanwhile, FPJ tried contacting the director of DMER but he was not reachable.
A senior official from Sir Jamshedji Jeejeebhoy (JJ) Hospital said there was a huge shortage of medicines in all wards of the hospital and patients were forced to get it from private chemists. Until recently, drug procurement for government hospitals was being done by Haffkine whose supply used to be inadequate. As per a new GR, the procurement will happen at DMER’s end and the government hospitals too will be allowed to purchase medicines.
“It is a great decision taken by the State Government for giving all powers to DMER as now all process of procuring will be done smoothly without getting it delayed. This should have been done earlier knowing DMER failed to provide medicines on time due to which patients and relatives had to face problems in buying medicines from outside the hospital,” he said.
Meanwhile, All Food and Drug License Holders Foundation are hoping that all their dues which have been pending for a long time will be given priority. Abhay Pande, President, AFDLHF said, “We are at the end of the financial year, and most of the manufacturing units are small scale and in this situation pending payments issue is a big issue and it will impact on medicines supply as well as availability issue. We request the government to look into this matter on a very priority basis.”
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