SRINAGAR: The state government has yet again failed to make the Jammu and Kashmir Medical Supplies Corporation Limited (JKMSCL) functional on the set deadline, which has now been extended to February 2016.
The government intended to make the corporation, set up in 2014 to purchase medicines and equipments for government-run hospitals in the state, operational this month, but “inadequate supplies” have forced another delay.
“We were expecting supplies this month, but we didn’t get enough of them. So, we have extended the deadline,” commissioner secretary Health and Medical Education, M K Bandari, told Kashmir Reader.
This is, however, the fourth deadline that the government has missed in the recent times.
In the last two years, the state missed three deadlines set for making JKMSCL operational due to complications in the tendering process.
Under the process, the local suppliers were not allowed to submit tenders, while the criteria only suited the registered firms. It reduced the number of bidders to a non-local few, eventually delaying the operation of JKMSCL.
The authorities have formally issued a notice announcing the fresh delay and authorising the hospitals’ Purchase Committee to make necessary procurements.
And the order has come as a relief to the medical superintendents concerned, who were otherwise making do by purchasing medicines on a day-to-day basis.
The Lal Ded and children hospital-like facilities, which provide free medicines to patients under Janani Shishu Suraksha Karyakaram (JSSK), were running without stocks. The patients were forced to buy medicines from the market.
“There would have been a crisis-like situation if they didn’t extend the deadline. The hospitals were running dry,” in-charge medical superintendent of children’s hospital, Dr Shafqat Khan, said.
“We were making purchases on a daily basis to avoid trouble to patients. This order has come as a relief for us.”
According to officials, SMHS hospital was not able to operate smoothly due to the situation.
“Since the purchase committee had been dissolved, it was difficult to keep the hospital functioning properly. We were making purchases on a daily basis, but it was still very difficult to manage the things, the officials, who are a part of the hospital’s administrative unit, said.
“Previously, the suppliers provided us medicines on credit. But, of late, they too discontinued the favour.”