Health institutions across the valley that are providing free medicines to the patients are not maintaining identity records of those patients to whom the medicines are being issued, raising serious questions over the proper functioning and the transparency in such institutions.
Records to identity end-user patient to whom the medicines were issued had not been maintained in any test-checked health institution. In absence of which, the report said that “it could not be ascertained as to whether the medicines/ drugs had actually been received by the patients visiting these Health institutions.”
“None of the test checked health institutions from the level of Medical College Hospital down up to PHCs levels had maintained any verifiable end-user medicine distribution and consumption records, distribution of drugs/ medicines and other consumables worth 108.53 crore purchased by these units during the period 2010-11 to 2014-15 to the patients, could not be vouchsafed during the audit,” the report said.
What is bizarre is that the report has clearly stated that Medical Superintendents/ Block Medical Officers admitted that no ‘verifiable’ end-user records were being maintained, blaming lack of adequate manpower in IPD/ OPD wings of the hospitals for the non-maintenance of records.
However, as per the report, Principal (CMC) Jammu and DHS, Jammu replied that the instruction had been noted and measures would be adopted to formulate a policy for making proper records of end-users.
The team that was gathering details for the report also conducted a beneficiary survey in order to assess the extent of availability of drugs/ medicines in the Health institutions.
Audit carried out a beneficiary survey of a random sample of 75 patients in two test-checked health institutions.
“The survey data revealed that out of the 562 medicines prescribed for the patients, only 323 (57 per cent) drugs/ medicines were provided free by these health institutions and 43 per cent medicines had to be procured by patients from the market,” report said.
Further, 11 out of 75 patients, the report said, felt that the drugs/ medicines being provided by the hospitals were not adequate. The Principal (GMC) Jammu stated that due to financial constraints all the drugs could not be supplied to each patient.