The health department ordered all the government-run medical college hospitals, including Patna Medical College and Hospital and Nalanda Medical College and Hospital in the capital, to display status of available medicines from Friday.
Besides the two health hubs in the city, the order applies to Darbhanga Medical College and Hospital, Anugrah Narayan Medical College in Gaya, Sri Krishna Medical College and Hospital in Muzaffarpur and Jawaharlal Nehru Medical College and Hospital in Bhagalpur. The step has been taken to maintain transparency regarding availability of drugs given free of cost to patients at the health hubs.
Additional health secretary Rajendra Prasad Ojha said: “We have received complaints against doctors asking patients to buy medicines from outside despite they being available in hospitals. This move will ensure that the patients are not misguided by doctors and hospital authorities.”
The administration of every medical college would now have to update and display the list of available medicines every day. Its copies have to be sent to health department on daily basis for monitoring.
“A similar exercise would be carried out at the district-level, wherein state-run hospitals have been asked to display medicine list and it is monitored by state health society,” said Ojha.
According to the government norms, as many as 41 drugs should be available at the out patient department of hospitals. The list for indoor patients includes 193 drugs.
In reality, patients are given few drugs at the hospitals. They have to buy costly alternatives from the open market because doctors seldom prescribe generic drugs.
Bihar State Health Society’s executive director Sanjay Kumar said a software would connect all the primary health centres in Bihar within 20 days. Thereafter, the society will be able to monitor the status of drugs at each centre online. “It will enable us to transfer medicines from one centre to another according to requirement, ” he said.