THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Government hospitals in the state are facing shortage of medicines meant for non-communicable diseases like blood pressure, hypertension, diabetes and cardiac problems. The shortage is being attributed to inadequate supply from Kerala Medical Services Corporation (KMSCL) and defects in the indent prepared by various hospitals. While preparing the indent which is an assessment of approximate quantity of medicines required, the hospital purchase authority has to categorise the requirement as huge, average, minimum and scarce.
Many hospitals do not give such specific details about their requirement and submit the annual indent demanding supply of medicines in four parts. This often leads to shortage of drugs. There is also lack of monitoring of the supplies, feedback from the market and market watch. There is need for fine-tuning the drug procurement system in 1000 odd government hospitals in the state. Sources said there is a shortage of medicines meant for non communicable diseases mainly life style diseases like cardiac issues, blood pressure, hypertension and diabetes.
Even therapeutic drugs for neuro, gastro, cardio and nephro are not available in adequate quantity. The shortage has been mainly reported from from district, general and taluk level hospitals, causing inconvenience to the patients. When contacted Director Health Services (DHS) Dr R Ramesh said there was shortage of drugs for non communicable diseases. But fresh indents were being prepared and also local purchases were being done in case of any urgent requirement. “We checked up the situation. Till last week most of the medicines on the 500 odd Essential Drugs List were available in hospitals,” he added.
However, sources said many of the drugs which are part of the 830 medicines listed under Essential Drugs List (EDL) and Rationalized Drugs List (RDL) were either not available or there was delayed supply. One of the reasons for this situation is the tendency of companies to shirk bids citing insufficient demand and profit. In such a situation, KMSCL generally goes for re-tender. But still companies’ don't respond positively forcing the corporation to issue Non Availability Certificates (NAC) to hospitals which had placed the demand for these medicines so that they can make local purchase.