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Shortage of medicines hits health services

BATHINDA: Short supply of life saving medicines to the regional drug warehouse has dealt a severe blow to the medical care being rendered to patients at district hospitals in the region.

Shortage of medicines hits health services

The drug warehouse in Civil Hospital, Bathinda. File photo



Sumeer Singh

Tribune News Service

Bathinda, March 16

Short supply of life saving medicines to the regional drug warehouse has dealt a severe blow to the medical care being rendered to patients at district hospitals in the region.

Varying from 10 different categories of antibiotics, around one and a half dozen other injectables and painkiller tablets are in short supply of around 25 to 30 per cent (as against the stated monthly requirement by respective civil surgeons) for the past couple of months.

The drug warehouse situated inside the Civil Hospital in Bathinda supplies medicines to eight districts in the Malwa region.

The matter of short supply of medicines had cropped-up around 10 months ago at one of the three drug warehouses established in the state, but the situation has worsened in the past two months as the list of medicines reaching the warehouse in less quantity (25 to 30 percent) is growing with every passing month.

More than two dozen medicines, which have not been delivered as per the stated requirements (as per quarterly consumption pattern) to eight districts include IV fluid (intravenous), amoxicillin, brufen, diclo, paracetamol and medicines used for surgical procedures, skin infection, hepatitis-C, chest infection, hypertension and diabetes among others.

The Punjab Health System Corporation (PHSC) runs the drug warehouse, which receives 226 categories of drugs on quarterly basis.

Eventually, financially deprived patients, especially those from rural areas, have to bear the brunt as they have to shell out money to purchase medicines on exorbitant prices from private chemist shops.

An employee of the State Health Department, on condition of anonymity, said patients visiting the district hospitals and dispensaries are affected the most in Faridkot, Sangrur, Bathinda and Muktsar.

He added that officials at the warehouse had submitted their requirement of drugs to the state unit of the PHSC time and again, but to no avail.

Jaskaran Singh, chief pharmacist, regional drug warehouse, said, “All medicines are supplied on time and if there is any short supply for a particular medicine, we are able to manage things by adjusting as per the requirements of respective districts.”

Varun Roojam, Managing Director, Punjab Health System Corporation (PHSC), did not respond despite repeated attempts to contact him.

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