Patients suffer as Wenlock runs out of medicines

Venkatesh (name changed), a BPL card holder is forced to buy medicines from the medical shops outside the Wenlock Hospital as the drugs prescribed by the doctors to his wife (who is admitted to the hospital owing to kidney problem) is not available in the medical store of the district hospital.

Describing the situation, Venkatesh says, “I hail from a very poor family. My wife is suffering from severe kidney anomaly and I could not afford to provide her treatment in private hospitals, so landed up in Wenlock. But much against my belief, I am forced to buy medicines from outside as the medicines prescribed by doctors are not available in the medical store of the hospital. I am helpless,” he tells.

The difficulty is not faced by Venkatesh alone, but there are several attendants of the patients who have been compelled to buy medicines from outside medical stores shedding money from their own pockets, despite possessing BPL cards. The reason for the problem which has been existing for the last one and half months is the lack of supply of specific medicines to the medical store in the Wenlock Hospital. It may be noted here that apart from the people of Dakshina Kannada, a number of patients from Udupi, Kodagu and Chikmagalur too arrive at the hospital for treatment.

According to the sources, the tender process for supplying medicines to various government hospitals in the State has seen a hiccup due to the strong competition between the big time drug suppliers. “The participants in the tender process called by Karnataka Drug Logistic Society are big time suppliers from international drug market.

Whenever a participant loses the bid, he deliberately finds technical fault in the process and approaches the Court. The same has happened with tender process this year and so has been the delay,” says one of the former officials from the Logistic Society who did not wish to be named.   

The tug of war between the drug suppliers is in the High Court now, hence 125-150 types of medicines to be supplied to various government hospitals have seen a blockade.

If at all different tenders were called for 10 medicines each, instead of 100 and odd medicines at once, then the problem would not have aroused as the court stay would have been brought only to the 10 drugs in which the tender participants find technical fault, he says. 

Speaking to Deccan Herald, District Surgeon Dr Sangameshwar said that owing to the crisis in the tender process, medicines worth Rs 83 lakh to be supplied to the Hospital are pending. “Though general medicines are available in the hospital store, it is the specific medicines which are not supplied to Wenlock. We are trying to get a few drugs from clinically attached hospitals, but then we can’t manage to get all the drugs. In such a situation, we have no other way but to ask the patient’s kin to buy medicines from outside,” he said.

Karnataka Drug Logistic Society Additional Director Jayadeva informed that as the issue is still in the Court, it would take another two months to set right the things.  

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