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Medicine shortage hits patients hard

ZIRAKPUR:Constant shortage of drugs at the Primary Health Centre (PHC), Baltana, has forced patients to shell out money from their pockets to buy medicines from private pharmacies.



Satinder Pal Singh

Zirakpur, October 10

Constant shortage of drugs at the Primary Health Centre (PHC), Baltana, has forced patients to shell out money from their pockets to buy medicines from private pharmacies.

The government’s claim that all healthcare facilities in the state will be well-equipped with medicines has fallen flat as the PHC at Baltana do not even have common drugs such as paracetamol.

While certain medicines are in stock, many medicines, including those meant for fever, cold and cough, hypertension and other common ailments have been out of stock for the past month. As a result, patients visiting the PHC, end up buying medicines from the chemists which they are supposed to get free of cost.

Sources from the PHC said the supply had not reached their centre for the past one month. They had no option but simply ask patients to purchase drug from the nearby chemist store.

Sources in the Health Department said the state government was supposed to provide stocks of medicines and other basic medical supplies such as cotton, gauge, syringes, saline. It procures these medicines with its own funds.The medicines and supplies are then sent to the district health services of each district from where these are dispatched to different government health centres as per their requirements.

“We have to buy most of the medicines from the market as poor people cannot afford them. There should be proper availability of medicines in the hospital,” said a resident.

“PHCs are an important part of the healthcare system in the state. In remote and backward areas, they are the only available medical facility for local residents. Hence, a decently equipped centre with an adequate stock of basic and common medicines is a must,” said Vanita, a patient.

One of the staff members at the PHC said at times and again they had written to the higher authorities regarding the shortage of medicines but the supply had not reached their centre yet.

However, Rita Bhardwaj, Civil Surgeon, Mohali, said she would get the issue checked.

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