SRINAGAR: In the first week of May 2016, the PDP-led government made an announcement that some 68 vital drugs like antibiotics and fluids would be freely available in hospitals. In the aftermath of Hizb commander Burhan Wani’s killing in which 30 civilians have been killed and more than 300 persons injured, patients at SMHS hospital have been asked to buy antibiotics, analgesics and steroids from the market which otherwise should have been available in the hospital.
An attendant of Danish, who was injured at Shopian and is admitted at SMHS, told Kashmir Reader that he had to buy injection of Paracetamol infusion (analgesic), Aciloc 50 mg (given to a patient after analgesic drug), Diamox 250 mg (a medicine for the eye), injection Amikacin 500mg (antibiotic) and other vital drugs from the market.
“I do get some drugs like Ceftriaxone from the hospital, but the rest I was asked to buy from the market. I did not question hospital authorities because I want to get my son cured. Our son was operated on his head and he is yet to recover,” the attendant said.
An attendant of a teenage girl who was hit by a pellet in eye at her home in Ganderbal, said that they were given some drugs by the hospital but had to buy drugs like Paracetamol from the market.
This correspondent was told by attendants of many patients at SMHS that they had to buy drugs and medicines from the market.
SMHS hospital has operated on nearly 200 injured patients since Saturday. Doctors in the hospital told Kashmir Reader that most of the patients had been hit in the eye and a few were shot in both eyes.
A senior resident doctor said that a number of antibiotics, analgesics and drugs for treating eyes were not available in the hospital. Patients either had to get them from the market or ask local NGOs that have been volunteering at the hospital.
“I have myself prescribed many antibiotics and analgesics that are not available here. Patients have to buy them from the market. We mostly have Ceftriaxone which cannot be given to every patient. We need broad-spectrum antibiotics which are unavailable here,” the doctor, wishing anonymity, said.
The government has asked every hospital to maintain a board on which details of available drugs are mentioned for public notice. The details on the board should also show which fluids, antibiotics and vital drugs are unavailable.
Principal of Government Medical College Srinagar Dr Qaiser Ahmad said that there may be some patients who have had to buy drugs from the market. He said this was due to “miscommunication”: the administration should have told the patients to show receipts if the drugs had been bought from the market, so that the bills could be refunded.
“We have enough supplies of medicines in our hospitals,” Dr Ahmad said. “Our hospital has been taking care of patients in the best possible way. An injured person in the operation theatre has to be administered injections priced at Rs 10,000 to Rs 20,000, besides other stuff. I have myself visited every ward and told attendants to reach out to the administration if they faced some shortage. I will not lie to you. The patients should not go to you; they should go to the hospital superintendent. We allow medical tests free of cost which otherwise cost money,” Ahmad said.
When told that the notice board in his hospital also showed that some medicines were unavailable, Ahmad said, ‘This is not the time to see medicines on the board.’