Ortho patients given the runaround for medicines at LNJP dispensary

 Patients suffering from orthopaedic problems have complained of non-availability of prescribed drugs at the Lok Nayak hospital dispensary.

“Of the nine medicines prescribed by the doctor here, only five were available. I have been coming here for a year now. Most of the times, the dispensary fails to provide all the medicines listed,” said 45-year old Nusrat, who came for a check-up from Saharanpur in Uttar Pradesh.

Nusrat suffers from rheumatoid arthritis, a condition which affects tissues and organs. Three of her fingers have been disabled after being affected by the disorder.“We have observed that none of the expensive medicines are available here. The reason why we come to a government hospital is we cannot afford treatment elsewhere,” she added.

Shalini Mishra, 17, who has been suffering from a severe backache for a week now, said she was satisfied with the treatment but not with the way the dispensary runs.“After waiting for an hour, the staff at the counter told us to get four medicines from outside. This is a hassle for patients. You wait in a queue and then your purpose is not served,” said Mishra, who was accompanied by her mother.

With the hospital catering to people from all economic backgrounds, patients from lower income groups mostly cannot afford the expensive drugs. While they choose to wait for hours to avail free medicines at the dispensary, non-availability of such medicines leaves them clueless how to go about the treatment. Also, orthopaedic patients find it difficult to wait for long hours.

“Of the seven medicines mentioned in the prescription, I got three. The expensive capsules and ointments were unavailable. Doctors at the OPD should let us know in advance which drugs are not available. It is a pain to wait,” said 60-year-old Munni Devi, who is suffering from arthritis.

“Also, the staff should behave properly. When I asked why those medicines were not available, they shot back saying if she meant they had taken those medicines for personal use,” added Devi.

Shakti Singh, 23, who comes with his mother to the hospital fortnightly.

“The staff should be sensitised. It is only normal to ask why expensive medicines prescribed by hospital doctors are unavailable. This does not give them the licence to yell at us,” said Singh. 

The Indirapuram resident did not get three prescribed medicines .

Siddharth Ramji, medical superintendent of the hospital, said, “We have not received any complaints from patients so far. The hospital is always well-stocked of all the essential drugs listed by the government. It is to be seen now if some of the medicines prescribed by doctors are outside this list.” 

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