Irked govt. doctors red-flag shortage of medicines

There is enough fund to buy medicines: sources

Published - June 06, 2022 12:11 am IST - HYDERABAD

Doctors of government hospitals protested the action sought against a few of their colleagues who had prescribed medicines that had to be bought from outside.

The fresh outburst was triggered after Health Minister Harish Rao, who had paid a surprise visit to the Government Maternity Hospital at Sultan Bazaar on Saturday, directed officials to take action against a paediatrician and another doctor for prescribing medicines that were not available at the hospital.

Sources said that Superintendent of the Maternity Hospital K. Rajya Lakshmi had requested the Health Minister to not take action against the two.

However, this did not stop a volley of questions from other government hospital doctors. They objected to the fact that why should the doctors be blamed for prescribing medicines that were required but not available at the hospital.

The list of medicines in short supply at a few government hospitals was circulated on social media on Sunday. “What are we supposed to do when a particular drug is required during an emergency situation but is not available at the said hospital? Saving the patient is our priority,” said a doctor.

HRDA president K. Mahesh Kumar asked if the government efficiently supplies all medicines, and why private pharmacies in government hospitals were still operating.

“Who is responsible if doctors follow the government instruction not to prescribe medicines from outside and something happens to the patient? Will the Health Minister take responsibility?” questioned Dr. Mahesh Kumar.

Sources in government hospitals and the Health department said that two forms of funds are available that were supposed to be used to buy medicines in short supply or drugs which are used rarely.

“Out of the funds allotted to procure medicines, 80% goes to the Telangana State Medical Services and Infrastructure Development Corporation (TSMIDC) and 20% to hospitals. Besides this, hospitals receive funds for performing medical procedures under Aarogyasri Health Scheme. This leaves administrations with adequate resources to buy the few medicines which are not available at the health facilities. All medicines of all companies would not be available at a hospital,” said a source.

It was learnt that instructions were issued to superintendents to circulate the list of medicines available at central drug stores. Another instruction was issued to write the molecule name of drugs rather than brand names.

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