Mumbai: BMC neglect hits medicine supply to hospitals

Updated: Sep 27, 2019, 07:40 IST | Rupsa Chakraborty | Mumbai

BMC-run hospitals - already suffering from a shortage of medicines - won't receive a regular supply of Schedule II drugs

This image has been used for representational purposes
This image has been used for representational purposes

Civic-run hospitals are likely to face a shortage of critical medicines, like insulin for diabetics, thanks to the lax Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation. The contract for Schedule II medicines expired on Thursday but the BMC has not yet floated a tender to ensure seamless supply.

As a result, BMC-run hospitals — already suffering from a shortage of medicines — won't receive regular supply of Schedule II drugs. Corporators have slammed the BMC for not appointing a new contractor on time, leading to a delay of over four months to resume supply. L Ward corporator Dr Saeeda Khan said, "First of all, the process of procuring medicines is wrong as it causes delay. Presently, the BMC asks hospitals for the amount of medicines needed before floating a tender."

A senior civic officer said, "We gave several reminders but they [BMC] don't seem to care. In civic hospitals, purchas is made through Central Purchase Department. The civic authority should have been more responsible considering the hospitals are already suffering from shortage of medicines."

Although the deans of major hospitals have permission to acquire medicines from private vendors in a crisis, there is a strict budget, forcing hospitals to offer free-of-cost drugs to only serious patients.

"When we have to procure medicines from outside, we are given a budget for that. So, while giving medicines, we have to provide them freely only to emergency cases," said one of the deans.

When contacted, deputy municipal commissioner (health) Sunil Dhamne told mid-day to approach Dr Ajay Rana from the CPD department. But, repeated calls to Dr Rana went unanswered.

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