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Kerala allocates Rs 10 crore to buy stents to address shortages

The government has devised an alternative strategy to address the crisis arising from the suspension of supply by companies, including those providing stents crucial for heart surgeries in medical college hospitals. A sum of Rs 10 crore has been allocated for the purchase and distribution of stents through the In-House Drug Bank (IHDB), located near SAT Hospital, Thiruvananthapuram. Additionally, pacemakers, balloons, valves etc. will also be procured.

Stents for one month will be purchased for Thiruvananthapuram, Alappuzha, Kottayam, Ernakulam and Kozhikode Medical Colleges. They will also be made available to general hospitals as needed, with delivery expected to commence this week. Due to outstanding payments totaling 143 crore rupees in 19 government hospitals, suppliers ceased supplying stents from the beginning of this month. Consequently, hospitals are managing with their existing stock. To prevent the cessation of heart surgeries, the government will intervene if necessary.

IHDB has stated that they can negotiate a price 8 percent lower than the current cost of purchasing stents for medical colleges. The sanctioned amount of 10 crores was provided upon request for an advance payment. However, it remains uncertain whether further funds will be disbursed in the subsequent months. Thiruvananthapuram Medical College alone requires stents worth two crores per month. Last week, suppliers at Palakkad General Hospital ended their strike after receiving payment of Rs 1.36 crore in arrears. Kerala Kaumudi

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