Tribune News Service
Chandigarh, November 6
Rural dispensaries in Punjab do not even have a tablet of paracetamol even as the state is facing its worst-ever dengue outbreak this year with over 18,000 cases and 60 deaths.
There are around 1,200 dispensaries under the Department of Rural Development and Panchayats. Sources said the medicines were last purchased after the Covid outbreak in March last year.
Dr Deepinder Bhasin, president, Rural Medical Officers’ Association, said these dispensaries were the first line of defence for healthcare in the rural areas. “It is unfortunate that even basic medicines are not available there,” he said.
The sources said till last year, the department was procuring medicines on its own. But after the Covid outbreak, it handed over the work to Punjab Health Systems Corporation (PHSC).
The latter has not shown much interest in purchasing medicines. The department had even written to it a couple of months ago, but to no avail.
“We have asked the corporation to procure Jan Aushadi medicines. A few meetings have taken place and the medicines will be procured soon,” said Sanjeev Garg, Deputy Director, Rural Development.
Rahul Bhandari, Secretary, Rural Development and Panchayats, said he had recently joined the department and would ensure that the medicines were supplied to the dispensaries at the earliest.
Drugs supplied in March last year
- There are around 1,200 dispensaries under Rural Development Department
- Medicines were last procured after Covid in March last year
- The job was handed over to Punjab Health Systems Corpn
- But it failed to make any purchase despite reminders
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