Glucose plant at GMC lies defunct for years

Patients forced to buy it at higher rates from pvt pharmacies

Manmeet Singh Gill

Tribune News Service

Amritsar, November 20

The glucose plant at Government Medical College (GMC) here is lying defunct for the past many years, forcing patients and the hospital to procure glucose from private pharmacies at higher costs.

The plant set up at the GMC’s clinical institute, Guru Nanak Dev Hospital, had a capacity to manufacture 500 glucose units daily at a cost of around Rs 6 per unit. However, the patients have to pay around Rs 50-60 for a unit to private pharmacies.

Sources at the hospital said around 1,500 glucose units were consumed daily at wards of the hospital.

“It is strange that instead of upgrading the plant, the government is paying no attention to revive it for the past three years,” said an insider.

“The plant had been working properly till 2013. In 2016, it again worked for a short period after repairs but then some doctors raised concerns regarding the quality of glucose being produced,” said the insider.

He said the last reported problem with the plant was its air-conditioning (AC) system, which was set up in 1996 and has now come of its age. Later, the drug wing of the Health Department had also raised objections over the quality of the AC system and asked the hospital to remove shortcomings.

The revival of the plant would help to create its self-sustainability and also lessen financial burden on poor patients. The hospital caters to needs of patients who are referred from Amritsar, Tarn Taran, Gurdaspur and other districts for advanced medical care.

Meanwhile, GMC spokesperson Prof Rakesh Sharma said the plant would be made functional soon. He said the hospital was taking care of needs of the patients effectively as medicines were being provided under the Ayushman Bharat Sarbat Sehat Bima Yojna.

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