Mumbai: Ensuring there should be no shortage of medicine across all the civic-run hospitals, the Deputy Municipal Commissioner has directed all the hospital deans to check and procure medicines so that patients do not suffer for free facilities.
This comes after the All Food and Drugs License Holders Foundation (AFDLHF) alleged that there is corruption in the central purchase department due to which BMC is facing revenue loss of more than Rs100 crore.
Patients getting medical supplies from outside due to shortage
The hospitals face a huge shortage of scheduled drugs leading patients having to get medicines, gloves, insulins, saline, dressing material, multi-vitamins, paracetamol, and sutures for surgery from outside.
“It is a constant problem which increases after two to three months as hospitals do not provide medicines due to ignorant behaviour of BMC authorities and officials from the central purchase department, who want to benefit local medicines suppliers standing outside the hospitals. We have been raising complaints but all in vain,” said a senior official.
Senior officials from the civic-run hospital said they were called for the meeting where the medicine shortage issue was discussed and to come up with solutions so that patients do not have to shell out from their pocket for scheduled medicines which are available free in hospitals.
“We have been asked to make a list of medicines not available in hospitals and to float tender for the same with immediate effect,” he said. Moreover, BMC has a Rs250 crore budget to purchase medicines and medical instruments every year.
No tender floated in last 3 years
Recently, AFDLHF alleged that there are over 500 pharmaceutical manufacturers and 1,000 distributors across India who supply medicines to civic and state-run hospitals. However, they have not seen any tender floated in the last three years.
“The tender of only 34% (612 of the 1,779) of scheduled medicines has been floated, while the remaining is being procured locally to benefit small suppliers outside hospitals. The contract for the bulk purchase of IV fluids, IV sets, gloves etc expired in 2019. The civic body is facing a loss of Rs100 crore over the last two to three years,” said Abhay Pandey president AFDLHF.
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