Patients will be able to buy medicines at 20 per cent of the MRP
To make healthcare more affordable, the State Health and Family Welfare Department will soon permit the launch of neighbourhood generic drug shops across the State. Patients can buy medicines at 20 per cent of the maximum retail price (MRP) at these shops.
Announcing this at the inauguration of the Sir C.V. Raman General Hospital in Indiranagar, Health Minister Aravind Limbavali said the department was planning to tie-up with co-operative societies and voluntary organisations to run these shops.
He said these generic drug shops will not be located within government hospitals. The Medical Education Department has recently started generic drug stores in its hospitals in Bangalore (Victoria and Kidwai), Hassan, Mysore, Hubli and Belgaum.
Saying that the neighbourhood generic shops will be different from those started by the Medical Education Department, he said: “We are providing free medicines to patients in our hospitals and will continue to do so. Our generic shops will be located randomly in the neighbourhood, just like regular medical stores and anyone can make use of the facility.”
He said if the shops are located on the premises of hospitals, doctors would develop a habit of prescribing medicines for patients to be bought from outside and “save the free medicines”.
The Minister, who said the incidence of dengue was much higher in Bangalore compared to other parts of the State, appealed to people to take precautions and join the department in checking the spread of the disease. Pointing out that it had been noticed that water stagnation near schools and on construction sites had become breeding spots for mosquitoes, the Minister said builders and school managements had been advised not to allow water stagnation on their premises.
Expressing concern over the lack of response of specialist doctors to work in government hospitals, Mr. Limbavali said: “We are ready to appoint them on their terms and conditions, even on an hourly basis. We have a shortage of more than 1,000 specialists.”
Appealing to specialists to dedicate some of their time and talent to poor patients visiting government hospitals, the Minister said: “We have spent a lot of money on making them specialists. These doctors should realise this.”