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Hospital stock meant for poor patients

The Post-Graduate Institute of Medical Education and Research (PGI) has clarified the priority in distribution of drugs from institute’s pharmacy is usually given to poor patients, especially those enrolled under various government welfare schemes, besides staff clinic beneficiaries and that there is no correlation between availability of hospital supplies and patients being advised to procure it from outside.

Purchase this year

  • Rs 3.57 cr worth of drugs procured by the PGI
  • Rs 59.8L worth sourced via rate contract for emergency use
  • 10.61L patients, staff, dependents given medicines

On September 1, a matter regarding unexplained hypotension (sudden drop in blood pressure) in intraoperative (during the course of a surgical operation) period with anuria (failure of the kidneys to produce urine) and/or jaundice in post-operative phase in a few patients over a period of a few days was brought to the notice of the Medical Superintendent by two of the department heads.

Drug ‘Propofol’, which allegedly led to the death of five patients, was purchased from a private chemist in the Emergency wing by the patients’ attendants on doctors’ prescription. Sources say the patients in question were not from the “poor free” category.

It is not uncommon for PGI doctors to hand over lists of items and medicines to regular patients for procurement from outside. According to the authorities, patients who have been declared “poor free” are provided consumables available in the hospital, while those not available are arranged from the Poor Patient Welfare Fund. Those not covered under any scheme are provided consumables as per availability in hospital stores (pharmacy) at nominal rates. The items unavailable in the hospital are procured by patients themselves.

They say the hospital’s “Procurement Branch” sources medicines through both public sector and private players on a contract basis, usually a local chemist.

While the PGI’s Dispensary and Drug Control Department is responsible for sourcing drugs and dressing materials from outside, the Pharmacy Department looks after storage and distribution of drugs, dressings and related material to various clinical departments and sections of the PGI.

Besides, the Dispensary and Drugs Control Department has made an arrangement for emergency purchases by entering into a rate contract with a local chemist through press tender, offering maximum discount of 21% on the MRP.

The PGI’s drug committee, comprising six members, inspects incoming material as per supply orders in respect of quality and quality as per specifications.

This year, drugs worth Rs 357.2 lakh have been procured so far and used on 10,19,107 outdoor and 42,359 indoor patients, besides staff members and their dependents, claim officials.

Had ‘limited’ supply
Amid reports of PGI having asked patients to source ‘Propofol’ from outside, that allegedly led to five deaths, a senior doctor said they had limited stocks of anaesthetic at the time, prompting them to place a fresh order on September 5. The stock was received in October. The patients were not from “poor free” category, claim sources. Tribune India

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