Voluntary organisations, not govt, providing free medicines to patients

Voluntary organisations, not govt, providing free medicines to patients

SRINAGAR: Voluntary organisations have been providing essential medicines to the patients in the SMHS Hospital here, even as the hospital administration and the government continue to take credit for it.
Four organisations—Help Poor Voluntary Trust, Athrout, Jamiat Ahl-e-Hadees, and Rafiq Baitul Maal—have been providing medicine, food, and financial aid to patients. And they said they have been collectively providing medicines worth Rs 1 lakh daily to the patients free of cost.
The organisations have documents to prove their efforts. As per the documents shared by them, they have been providing medicines and supplies like human albumin (cost Rs 4,053 per unit), broad-spectrum antibiotics like Meropanum (500 mg costs Rs 1,543 and 1g costs Rs 2,750), and Vencomysin (500 mg costs Rs 550 and 1g costs Rs 1,000) to the patients.
“We supply medicines worth Rs 80,000 to 1, 00,000 daily for free. Initially, the demand for the drugs was huge, but now it has come down,” Waheed Bhat, working for one of the voluntary organisations, said.
Waheed said his organisation has supplied 200 vials of Meropanum 500 mg, 1200 vials of its 1g variant, 1400 variants of Vencomysin 500 mg and 1 gm, and several other medicines to the patients.
Principal Government Medical College (GMC), Srinagar, Dr Kaesar Ahmad, has been claiming that that all medicines were being provided free to patients.
He has stated that the government hospitals charge nothing for medical tests, while the patients are reimbursed the money they pay for buying medicines from the market.
Waheed said that the principal told the organisations on Thursday to supply medicines to patients through the hospital.
A few days ago, Waheed informed, voluntary organisations decided to issue costly medicines only after the approval of hospital authorities.
“When a patient comes to us with a prescription, we tell him to get the approval of the CMO first. After his signature, we issue the medicine. Check prescription of any patient, you will find stamps of the organisations that have provided the medicine,” he said.
Most of the volunteers come from a medical background themselves. They have teams divided into groups. One team remains inside the hospital, a second ferries the patients as and when needed, and a third buys the medicines.
“At times when we did not have the medicine, we bought it from the market and gave it to the patients,” Waheed said.
Volunteers of all the four organisations shared similar figures of the quantities and types of medicines they have supplied in the past 15 days.
“We dismissed his proposal,” he said.
Farooq Ahmad, a volunteer with Help Poor Voluntary Trust, said his organisation had provided 70 vials of dye used in CT-Scan to the SMHS hospital.
“The dye is used to reveal minute details inside the body. In the past two weeks we have given 70 vials to the hospital. On a daily basis we supply antibiotics, analgesics and gastro drugs to patients. None of these medicines are available in the hospital,” Farooq said.
Minister of State for Health Aesya Naqash told Kashmir Reader that she had been informed about the organisations’ work for the first time and that she would speak to her secretary before responding to questions about it.

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