Now, meds at Mumbai civic hospitals to have MCGM mark and bar, QR codes

Updated: May 11, 2019, 08:04 IST | Rupsa Chakraborty | Mumbai

Mumbai civic body officials feel if medicines are illegally sold outside, this will help them trace it

Illustration Ravi Jadhav
Illustration Ravi Jadhav

In a bid to stop illegal supply of medicines, the Public Health Committee of Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) has decided that all tablets given to patients at civic-run hospitals will now bear the Municipal Corporation of Greater Mumbai (MCGM) mark and medicine strips would have both the bar and QR codes.

An earlier tender, which was floated about two weeks back for the implementation of bar codes, has been cancelled, as a new tender incorporating all the three will soon be floated. This is the first time that such a decision has been taken, as time and again, the BMC health department has failed to control the shortage of medicines at hospitals.

Requesting anonymity, a senior official from the health department said, "We have been investigating the reason behind shortage of medicines at civic-run hospitals, but haven't been able to track down the source of this crisis. In all probability, medicines are being illegally supplied outside. Hence we have decided to engrave MCGM on each tablet given to patients at civic-run hospitals. So, if any of the medicines are being supplied outside, we will be able to trace it."

mid-day had earlier reported about BMC's proposal to address the issue of shortage of medicines at hospitals run by the corporation. It had earlier floated a tender to print only bar codes on medicine strips, but now that stands cancelled. This decision comes after the chairman of the Public Health Committee of BMC in a letter to the civic headquarters informed that in a meeting held a week ago it was decided that tablets would have the MCGM mark and medicine strips would bear both the bar and QR codes. So, he requested to cancel the earlier tender, and float a new one after incorporating all the three aspects.

Lingering crisis

mid-day had reported in December 2017 about BMC procuring medicines worth '46 crore for a course of two years. In fact, the hospitals had ordered a stock of 40 per cent more than the required amount. in case there was a medical crisis. But sadly, the stock is already over and hospitals across the city have hit a crisis situation.

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