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BMC Panel to Probe Shortage of Medicines in Civic Hospitals

Amid reports of shortage of medicines in civic hospitals and dispensaries, the health department of the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) has set up a committee to inquire into it. The department formed the committee taking cognizance of the complaints by several patients and their relatives about the unavailability of medicines at the civic-run hospitals. Even the doctors attending to the patients have reported to their heads about the unavailability of medicines, insulin, antibiotics and injections since the last few weeks. “A committee has been set up to inquire into this,” additional municipal commissioner Idzes Kundan said on Wednesday. According to some reports, the stock of several medicines, including injections, was not adequate in the civic hospitals and doctors were directing the patients to private medical stores.

To a query whether medicines stocked in civic hospitals were sold outside illegally by insiders, a senior doctor from the KEM Hospital said boxes of medicines in civic hospitals are labelled as ‘Only for BMC Hospital’ and therefore there are slight chances of they being sold in the open market. “There is a possibility that we are failing to procure the medicines well in advance,” he said. According to him, the committee will find out whether more number of patients getting admitted into the hospitals was one of the reasons behind this. The BMC has five medical colleges- KEM, Sion, Nair, Nair Dental and R N Cooper- and 16 peripheral hospitals apart from five specialized hospitals for TB, leprosy, ENT etc. Another civic official said that the three-member committee would submit its report within two weeks. “Till then, we are focusing on procuring additional medicines, as one company has already failed to deliver the medicines to our hospitals,” official said. – Business Standard