No drugs at govt hospital, patients suffer

No drugs at govt hospital, patients suffer

After waiting in a queue for over two hours, all that Parveen Khatoon got was one strip of pills at the pharmacy of government-run Jag Pravesh Chandra Hospital in north-east Delhi.

A doctor at the hospital had prescribed her five drugs, four of which, she was told, would be available at the hospital’s pharmacy.She had no choice but to buy the remaining essential medicines from private drug stores outside the hospital. To her surprise, all the prescribed drugs were available outside.

Khatoon’s was not an isolated case. Almost every patient coming out of the hospital pharmacy had the same complaint. In a span of two hours, this reporter came across only three patients who got all the prescribed medicines at the hospital pharmacy.

“They provide only low-cost medicines here. I have to buy expensive medicines outside. This negates what I am supposed to save by visiting a government hospital,” said Mohammad Naim, a resident of Jafrabad. Naim waited at the counter for over two hours and had to leave with only two of seven medicines he was prescribed.

“All they do is hand us either a strip of pills, a bottle of syrup or a tube of ointment. Sometimes, the staff tear up our prescription if we insist that doctors assured us of availability of the drugs,” said Nabbi Hasan, a resident of New Seelampur.

Nexus alleged

A pharmacy department staffer, on condition of anonymity, said that they hand out whatever drugs are available with them, irrespective of the cost. “We do not stand to benefit in any way if we deny them the medicines,” said the pharmacist.

Patients have no issues when told by doctors to purchase one or two non-regular drugs from outside. But they allege that they are often given directions by hospital staff to purchase the prescribed medicines from particular private stores outside the hospital.

“If you come here regularly, you will begin to feel that there is some nexus between the hospital staff and the private medicine shops outside,” alleged Mohammad Naim, a regular visitor to the hospital. Deccan Herald, however, could not verify the authenticity of this allegation.

Medical superintendent of the hospital, Dr S K Bansal, acknowledged that two-three essential drugs were unavailable due to delay in supply from central procurement agencies. “The situation is not very bad and will be fine in eight to 10 days,” he said.

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