GMC Jammu, associated hospitals facing shortage of medicines, surgical items

Govind Sharma
JAMMU, Aug 23: Government Medical College and Hospital, Jammu and its associated hospitals are running short of medicines and other essential drugs and allied items, as the J&K Medical Supplies Corporation Limited (JKMSCL) has failed to ensure proper supply.
Due to unavailability of various medicines and surgical items, patients and their attendants are forced to purchase the same from open market. Though administration of these hospitals was purchasing most of these medicines and allied items on their own on daily basis but they are unable to meet the demand.
According to the sources in Medical College Jammu, anaesthesia drugs, antibiotic Ceftriaoxn, Piperacillin and Tazobactum are totally out of stock in the Medical College while there is huge shortage of dressing material like cotton and adhesive plaster, and even basic laboratory items like glass ware and chemicals. “Besides this, there is also shortage of drip set, blood bank kits and even normal saline in Medical College,”, the sources said.
Sources said not only GMC Jammu but all its associated hospitals like SMGS Hospital and Super Specialty Hospital are also running short of medicines. Elaborating more, they said that the Corporation has not supplied drip sets, normal saline, cotton bandages and many expensive and life saving medicines like Injection Hurfattand, Injection Hepatitis-B, Haemophilia factor as well as Dosi Flow, which are used in Pediatric department of SMGS Hospital, Jammu.
“However, somehow administration of these hospitals was managing the same for patients in emergency department by making purchases on daily basis from the market while other patients are left on the mercy of God”, sources said.
“Due to short supply of drugs and other essential items by the Corporation, the poor patients are suffering most as they have to purchase even basic drugs, saline water, drip sets and bandages from the market”, they further added.
“The State Government has announced provision of free drugs in the hospital but I am shocked that even in Emergency unit of this premiere hospital, the basic things like Drip Set and Intravenous Fluid are not available and the concerned doctor asked us to purchase the same from market”, said Virender Singh, an attendant, whose brother was under treatment Medical College Jammu.
Another attendant of a patient, who was undergoing treatment for his injuries that he sustained in a road accident, said that even normal saline, cotton and adhesive plaster are not available in the hospital and they bought the same from the market.
When contacted, Principal, GMCH Jammu, Dr Sunanda said that there is shortage of some medicines and other items due to improper supply by the JKMSCL due to some litigation issue but there is nothing to worry as “we are purchasing them from the market, as Government has permitted us to purchase the drugs and other allied items as per our needs directly from the market.”
However, Dr Inderjeet Bhagat, Managing Director, JKMSCL, when contacted, refuted that there is any laxity on the part of Corporation in supply of drugs and other items. He said there is some problem in supply of some specific drugs and IV fluids after State High Court crushed a tender but otherwise our supply to the hospitals is smooth.
“We procure drugs and other allied items from various parts of India and then these are tested by third party. This whole process of procurement and testing takes at least three-four months. He said that if some institution is facing shortage of any drug and surgical item it means either it has not sent recognition of drugs on time or the specific drugs and surgical items running short did not figure in the list of recognition of drugs submitted to this office”, he added.

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