KERALA

Medicine availability improves

Staff Reporter

KOCHI: Availability of medicines in government hospitals in Ernakulam district has marginally improved.

Medicines for primary treatment is now available, even though the stocks are just enough to last about a month-and-a-half, said a senior doctor in the Health Services. Of the 150 medicines required by the District General Hospital, only 18 were available. But it is a marked improvement from nothing, he said. For months, patients had been buying medicines not just for primary treatment but also the required cotton wool, syringes, bandages etc. from private medical stores as its non-availability had touched an all-time low during the changeover period from the Central Purchase Committee to the newly formed Kerala Medical Services Corporation Limited.

The District Medical Stores that were taken over by the Corporation are yet to become functional. While computerisation is in, the process of stock-taking continues to be manual. The procedure for requirement and availability of medicines, that should be reflected in the computers for each district, is yet to start working. The old process of giving an indent and making a request for medicines continues, said a doctor in the Health Services.

In Taluk hospitals too, the situation is slightly better. As the Hospital Development Committee was helping to tide over the difficult period, the doctors probably escaped the people’s wrath, said a Health Services doctor. The District Medical Officer has sanctioned funds for medicines that are unavailable from the Medical Services Corporation. Medicines to peripheral areas has also improved but continues to be a mixed bag, said an officer.