By Arfat Khan
Jammu: There is no end to fleecing of poor gullible patient in the state at the hands of greedy medicos lot which controlled the vital health institution by proxy.
This is evident from the fact that hectic lobbying is going in the corridors of power to shut down Jammu and Kashmir Medical Supplies Corporation Limited (JKMSCL) which was formed in the state almost an year ago to end ill adopted practice of purchasing essential medicines, drugs and equipments at high end rates besides adopting a fool proof mechanism to weed out supply of spurious as well as sub standard medicine and drugs to state run hospitals and health centers.
Latest onslaught on the genuine working of JKMSCL came from none other than Dr Devinder Kumar Manyal who has recently replaced Bali Bhagat as state new health minister. In earlier, instances, Chief Minister Mehbooba Muti had reportedly also expressed her anguish against the corporation when a woman principal of Government medical college made an unsuccessful attempt to paint the corporation as red before CM in a meeting at Srinagar.
Highly placed sources revealed that immediately after taking reign of the health department Dr Manyal in a meeting with doctors which was held at Srinagar has reportedly expressed displeasure over the working of JKMSCL.
Strong anti JKMSCL lobby comprised of doctors and supported by pharmaceuticals syndicate is trying to project this significant corporation before newly appointed health minister Dr Manyal in an eclipsed manner so as to keep their self interest intact, said a senior bureaucrat preferring anonymity.
Concentrated efforts are underway to misguide Dr Manyal who himself belongs to the medical profession and bears close proximity with most of those trying to influence him on bypassing the JKMSCL for purchase of medicines and resorting to earlier pattern, added sources.
Giving details sources revealed “Earlier the medicines which used to be purchased for Rs. 3 crore by the medical authorities are now being purchased by JKMSCL at just Rs 1 Crore from the reputed established brands.” When the difference is of Rs 200 crore, the uneasiness prevailing among the medical colleges authorities and hospital administration is obvious understood” said a senior officer of health department on condition of anonymity.
Even the incumbent minister himself is a doctor and aware of what’s troubling the doctors over formation of JKMSCL, said sources.
In a well planned conspiracy, the medical college and hospital authorities are deliberately sending requisitions to JKMSCL for supply of medicines in small fragmentation so as to create cosmetic shortage and fuss in the hospitals, added sources.
There ill intentions are evident from the fact that despite availability of funds lying with them and having fair knowledge and experience about the consumption of respective medicines in any given circumstances, still the learned hospital and medical college authorities are deliberately adopting unconventional ways in procuring medicines, drugs and essential equipments from the concerned corporation . Knowing that procuring medicine in a laid down norm is a time consuming exercise which normally took 3-4 months still instead of sending consolidated requisitions they deliberately resorts to ill conceived methods.
Sources further disclosed “In one occasion, hue and cry has been engineered over paucity of IV fluid which normally used in routine for every patient in hospitals, added sources. This was deliberately done to malign JKMSCL” If they are not able to make assessment of IV fluids use in the hospital what kind of vision and acumen these administrators possessed, he added
It’s important to note that immediately after the formation of JKMSCL, the list of essential drugs has been raised from 450 to 750 besides the corporation has adopted a very robust three tier check system to end free for all intrusion of sub standard medicines under the garb of supply to hospitals in the state.
In the initial stage, the interested parties need to submit samples of medicines for which the tender has been floated. These samples were sent to different prominent laboratories and the parties whose samples have adverse reports were ousted from the tender exercise.
In second stage, again the samples were lifted from different drugs stores where the selected party has supplied their medicines after finalization of tender exercise. In last stage, the corporation withheld 25 % of the amount which would be released only after testing the last lot of supply. Here, the authorities randomly pick samples from any 5 to 6 drug stores out 11 established in the state and send the same for quality test. Due consideration has been taken care in this exercise thereby avoiding repetition of same laboratories for same medicine during this three tier testing exercise.
Interestingly, if there is any adverse test report against any supplier firm, the defaulter will be black listed pan India owing to pool comprised of all state run medical supplies corporations in India. In addition, the medicines and drugs supllied by the agency also carry JKMSCL name besides color to prevent its misuse.
Expressing surprise over the alleged utterances of newly appointed health minister Dr Manyal against JKMSCL, a senior officer in health and medical education department said “ When the corporation have such a fool proof system of purchasing medicines that too at comparatively lower rate, Dr Manyal needs to ponder over those shedding crocodile tears and order in-depth investigation to unearth the unholy nexus prevailing in the state between the pharmaceutical companies and corrupt doctors.
It’s really slaughter of poor patients whom greedy doctors deliberately prescribed in a scribbled manner a very costly medicine which in generic stores available at 60 % less cost, said an employee of a chemist shop operated inside Gandhi Nagar Hospital.
There is no denying the fact that almost all doctors associated with private as well as government hospitals used to prescribe a medicine which is available at highly exorbitant rate in the market despite the availability of generic name medicine at quite reasonable rate. It’s also interesting to note that despite standing instructions from the government to prescribed generic name medicines in capital letters but still the medicos are flouting this order with impunity in state.
Repeated attempts to contact Health Minister Dr Devinder Kumar Manyal on his mobile number couldn’t materialize as he didn’t respond to our calls.