The stoppage of supply of medicines, surgical devices, medical equipment, and stents to the Government Medical College Hospital, Kozhikode, has taken a political turn, with the Opposition parties demanding that the authorities clear the pending dues to distributors.
M.K. Raghavan, MP, on Monday shot off letters to Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan and Health Minister K.K. Shylaja, urging them to take steps to resume the functioning of the cath lab which had been shut down in June 21 after distributors stopped supply of stents for angioplasty.
Mr. Raghavan pointed out that the distributors had decided to stop the supply of stents from June 10 after the pending dues rose to ₹4 crore. The number of angiogram and angioplasty procedures being done at the lab were reduced in the following days, and they were stopped after the stock of stents was over. He said the government had to give ₹21 crore under the Karunya Benevolent Fund and ₹27 crore under the Rashtriya Swasthya Bima Yojana to the medical college hospital. The MP urged the government to immediately release ₹2 crore under the Karunya scheme and ₹9 crore under the RSBY, for which examination of documents had been completed.
Meanwhile, P.K. Firos, State general secretary, Muslim Youth League, told the media that there was a “conspiracy at the government level” to destroy the medical college hospital, frequented by thousands of poor patients from the Malabar region. “Around 20 angioplasty and angiogram procedures used to be done at the cath lab a day. It is learnt that now bypass surgeries too are going to be stopped,” he said.
He alleged that the medical college management had delayed payment to distributors to help private hospitals. “The LDF government is also trying to divert the funds allocated for the Karunya scheme by investing them in the government treasury, instead of releasing them to the medical college,” Mr. Firos alleged.
A representative of the Chamber of Distributors of Medical Implants and Disposables said on Monday that District Collector S. Sambasiva Rao had called a meeting on Tuesday to discuss the issue.