Rural hospitals suffer shortage of vital drugs, blame JKMSC for disarray

Rural hospitals suffer shortage of vital drugs, blame JKMSC for disarray

Anantnag: Even as the government made operational the Jammu and Kashmir medical supplies corporation (JKMSC)  last year claiming it will ensure accountability, quality and time bound arrival of drugs to the hospitals at fair rates, the major rural hospitals continue to face the shortage of important drugs, laboratory reagents and surgical items.
Officials working in different rural hospitals say that the supply of drugs to the hospitals through the corporation has failed to bring any relief to the patients. “You will see almost all the major hospitals in rural areas running short of several important drugs. Even some important intra-venous fluids are not available. The shortage of drugs continues to force the patients to buy medicines from the market,” said an official of the health department.
Even the laboratory reagents and some surgical items are running short.
An official working in a hospital in Anantnag said that the denial of non-availability certificate (NAC) by the corporation to hospitals is making the things worse.
“After the corporation came into being, we cannot purchase any drugs or surgical items from the market without the NAC from the corporation. But when we seek NAC for any drug which is not available with it, they refuse to provide the NAC,” the official said.
The corporation has four major drug stores in the valley catering the hospitals of different districts.
The corporation, officials said, dispatches those drugs to the hospitals which are least required.
“Vitamin A and folic acid is rotting in huge quantity in all the hospitals. Ironically the corporation has supplied the same drugs again despite the fact we have not sent any requisition for the same. But we continue to wait for the supply of two important IV fluids, “an official posted in a hospital in south Kashmir told Kashmir Reader.
Managing director, JKMSC, Dr Yashpal Sharma said that some people working in hospitals are trying to create confusion about the corporation.
“It is all about demand and supply. We supply only those drugs to the hospitals they demand and against the exact payment they make,” MD told Kashmir Reader.
On why the corporation does not issue NAC to the hospitals for the drugs which are not available with the corporation, Sharma cited a circular that hospital authorities can utilize 25 percent funds available with them to make purchases of those drugs from the market which are not available with the corporation.
Besides, he said, hospital authorities can purchase the urgently required drugs out of hospital development fund.

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