Can you imagine a hospital treating people without medicines? Unfortunately, the District General hospital is facing such a situation due to the short supply of generic drugs. Only 30 per cent of the medicines needed are available at the hospital, making the patients suffer. The hospital sources said there was even a shortage of drugs that were included in the essential drug list. For instance, there was a shortage of 115 anti-cancer drugs.

Commonly prescribed antibiotics like cefixime, amoxicillin clavulanate and ceftriaxone, other medicines like omez and ranitidine are in short supply.

The situation is such that to perform a surgery, bandages, gloves and other necessary items have to be brought in from outside. Some of the supplied drugs get over in a day as nearly 2500 patients come to the OP section of the hospital. Sources said many doctors were unaware of the situation. They get to know about it when the patients visit them for a second time.

Usually poor patients prefer not to buy drugs from outside because of the cost involved. Patients stand in long queues in the OP section and they find it difficult to get back to the doctor immediately if the prescribed medicines were not available. Currently, three district hospitals and medical colleges in the State are facing shortage of drugs.

However, R. Kamalahar, managing director, Kerala Medical Services Corporation Ltd, denied there was a short supply of medicines. He told The Hindu that they had been meeting all the demands for the supply of medicines. He said there had been a short supply of 136 medicines. But the reasons were different. And most of these were high-end medicines, he added.

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