Take them to task 

Jammu Kashmir has the distinction of having the best health care facilities. This is what some people who conferred the award on the Chief Minister last year believe. The reports from the ground, however narrate a different story. Not to speak of the drugs supplied in hospitals or sold in the market, the bandages in SKIMS have been found sub-standard. A special court has taken cognizance of irregularity and issued arrest warrants against four dealers.  This reflects the rot in the system.  The babus compromise the quality of medicines and medical aids to earn a few bucks and nothing moves. There should be a system in place for purchase of drugs and medical equipment.  Not only e-tendering, there must be somebody to check the quality of drugs/equipment supplied. Taking samples after delivery and coming out with reports after months of the purchase makes no sense. This also helps in institutionalizing corruption. Pertinently, the drug control officials had lifted samples of many dressing items in SKIMS for analytical procedures. The drug department had also directed the SKIMS officials not to use the material till the analytical reports were  furnished. But, instead of implementing the directive, the hospital authorities distributed all sub-standard material among the hapless patients. The purchase committee must have a senior officer from the Drug Control Department besides prominent and reputed members of the civil society.  The analysis must be done at the time of purchase. In fact the purchases must be made only after the purchase committee gives consent.  And, after giving consent, if any drug or equipment is found sub-standard, the members of the committee must be detained under Public Safety Act along with the suppliers.  The purchase of drugs/ medical equipment has a direct bearing on public health and patient care and anybody who compromises on this, needs to be taken to task.  The government launched a crackdown on unregistered and recognized chemists and druggists. However, the campaign was abandoned midway for unknown reasons.  Secondly the practice of approving the tender of the lowest bidder must be abandoned at least as far as purchase of drugs is concerned. The government also had a new drug policy on its mind last year. But to this day nothing has been done in this regard and the spurious/sub-standard drugs continue to be sold with impunity.  The administration has to wake up and do what it is supposed to do.

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