The scheme to supply free generic medicines is yet to take off fully even a month into its inception due to glitchesin the supply chain.
The General Hospital got the second consignment of generic medicines on Monday. But the District Medical authorities could not say if what had arrived would be sufficient. The hospital is yet to take stock of how much medicines would be required on a daily basis.
Kerala Medical Services Corporation Ltd. sends all medicines for the district to its depot at Manjummel from where each government healthcare institution in the district is allotted consignments. The first consignment received at the hospital in the first week of November was inadequate. The second batch came in after the intervention of Health Minister.
Government supplies too are yet to arrive as per the tentative order. The hospital had given an approximate order on the quantity required, said district medical officer Junaid Rahman.
Three hundred essential drugs are made available to all patients besides the 952 drugs that the government had announced to free supply of from November 1. Of the 952 drugs, some higher antibiotics and anaesthetic drugs have not been made available, said Dr. Rahman.
Most of the other medicines among the 952 are available at the General Hospital in limited quantity. While the hospital is giving all medicines required for in-patients, only a few lucky out-patients, numbering around 2,000 or more a day, are able to get their free medicines.
It would take at least a couple of weeks to streamline the drug supply system through the hospital as the authorities have to calculate the requirement through a trial and error method, said Dr. Rahman.