Medicines worth Rs 50 cr purchased: Bali

*1090 ambulances operating, 392 lying condemn

Excelsior Correspondent

JAMMU, Feb 2: Minister for Health and Medical Education, Bali Bhagat today said that  the Government purchased medicines especially life-saving drugs worth Rs 49. 80 crore during 2016-17.
Replying to a question of  PDP Legislator Surinder Choudhary in the Upper House today, the Minister said that Rs 4887.26 lakh and Rs 2593.25 lakh were spent in 2015-16 and 2014-15,  respectively, for procuring the medicines.
He further informed that  H&ME Department has 10 drug ware houses in the State including 4 in Kashmir and 6 in Jammu, besides two drug testing laboratories at Srinagar/Jammu having a capacity of testing around 4,000 samples per annum.
Bhagat further said that after receiving the drugs from suppliers/manufacturers, they are kept in quarantine in various drug ware houses and the samples as per prescribed quantity are forwarded to quality control section of various empanelled laboratories of the J&K Medical Supplies Corporation Limited (JKMSCL) outside the State for tests and analysis.
“3616 drug samples have been forwarded to various empanelled laboratories of the corporation till date out of which reports for 3596 tests have been received and only seven drug samples have been declared not of standard quality and five drug samples have contradictory reports”, he informed.
The Minister further claimed that one manufacturing company namely M/s Theon Pharmaceuticals Ltd, Nalagarh Solan has been blacklisted  by the JKMSCL for manufacturing  and supplying sub-standard drugs.
As the reply was lengthy, some of the members wanted that it should be treated as read  by the Minister but the PDP MLC Surinder Choudhary wanted that this should be allowed to be read by the Minister. He said it was his prerogative. The Chairman, Haji Anayat Ali, however, did not allow and asked the member to raise his supplementary to the main question. The PDP member pressed that he wanted to listen whole reply  and it was his discretion as question belonged to him.  Minister for CAPD Ch Zulfkar Ali also supported his point.  The Chairman, however, rejected his plea and went on to the next question of Sajjad Ahmed Kichloo, causing embarrassment to Surinder Choudhary.
This irked the member who stood up and tore the papers and alleged that he was not being allowed to raise questions. He termed the act as undemocratic and said Chairman was not fair to him. He protested strongly  and also indulged in heated arguments with the Chairman and then staged walk-out to mark his protest against the ‘Chair.
Meanwhile, replying to separate question of  Legislator Ramesh Arora, the Minister claimed that there are 1090 ambulances operating in the State including 40 National Highway ambulances. He disclosed that there are 392 ambulances at various workshops at Nagrota, Srinagar and other districts of Kashmir division which are old and fit for condemnation. The process for this has been set in motion.
He also disclosed that out of the total, 137 condemnable ambulances are lying in Nagrota ( Jammu) SHTO workshop while 255 in Srinagar and other districts of Kashmir.
Bhagat further said that  the Government has procured 21 Critical Care Ambulances which  have been deployed in various District Hospitals in Samba, Udhampur, Doda, Kishtwar, Poonch, Rajouri, Ramban, Anantnag, Baramulla, Pulwama, Kulgam, Handwara, Bandipora, Leh, EH  Banihal, JLNM Hospital Srinagar and SMHS Srinagar, besides one such ambulance each is being deployed in CHC RS Pura and District Hospital, Kathua.
He claimed that two  Critical Care Ambulances are being deported to Director Health Services, Kashmir for further deployment in the Valley. The Government is planning for GPS tagging of all the existing as well as newly procured ambulances deployed under 102/108 services, he added.
He informed that 505 drivers are working in Kashmir division while as 376 are working in Jammu division.
Arora claimed that at many places for 2-3 ambulances only one driver is available and asked why these posts    are not being filled by the department. He also pointed out that since 2012 no permanent Principal has been engaged in GMC Jammu  and adhocism was prevailing there. This post has not been filled up on permanent basis since 30-6-2012. The Minister said they were looking for good performing suitable person for this post.  The member asked, whether Government failed to find any suitable person in the whole H&ME Department to the post of permanent Principal? The minister avoided direct reply and said some case was also pending there is the court in this connection.