Mumbai: Civic hospitals are likely to run out of essential injections such as amikacin (antibacterial), dopamine (for intestinal problems), ampicillin (antibiotic) and glucose which are Schedule 1 Drugs, as the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC)'s contracts with its various suppliers lapsed in April.
Soon after this, the civic body failed to float new tenders. Apparently, the BMC has failed to learn its lessons after a similar medicine shortage in April 2018.
Meanwhile, all the hospitals across the city are on alert as the patient footfall increases by 30 per cent in the rains. How they will manage with this acute shortage of medicines is the question.
“The tender for the supply of injections expired in April and although it has been two months, the BMC is least interested in procuring supplies. Despite our having raised the issue several times, the corporation has turned a blind eye,” said a senior health official.
He further said, a proposal had been submitted to the administration but it has not been tabled in the Standing Committee, until now. Dr Ramesh Bharmal, dean of Nair Hospital and director of all four civic hospitals (KEM, Sion, Cooper and Nair), said the supplies would be procured on a priority basis once the proposal would be cleared by the standing committee.
“Currently, we are procuring requirements from external sources, but soon we will be getting stock,” he said.
In September 2017, BMC hospitals had procured medicines worth Rs 46 crore, expected to last two years. In fact, hospitals had an extra 40 per cent stock over the required amount, for emergency but this was used up within a year and patients were forced to buy medicines from outside.
The corporation had initiated an investigation by a three-member committee into the matter of drug shortage. The committee had named of 45 medical suppliers who had missed their supply deadline in 2018.