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Siliguri medicine crunch

Siliguri, Sept.4: A shortage of medicines and saline at the Siliguri district hospital prompted north Bengal development minister Gautam Deb to sanction Rs 5 lakh for local purchase of drugs.

Deb visited the hospital today and held a meeting with the acting superintendent, Ranjit Bhagat, and deputy chief medical officer of health (III) Ashok Biswas.

“The hospital has been facing a shortage of drugs because of irregularity in supply for the past one month. I have sanctioned Rs 5 lakh from the hospital’s Rogi Kalyan Samiti fund to buy the drugs locally,” Deb said.

“Orders have been placed and some of the medicines and saline packets bought locally have arrived at the hospital. We hope the supply from the district reserve store (DRS) will resume soon.”

“When we enquired at the DRS, they said the company which has been selected to supply drugs through the tender is causing the delay. Under these circumstances, we have no option but to make local purchases and wait for the supplies to arrive”, a district health official said.

The hospital, which has around 350 beds, has to provide free medicines and saline to patients as and when required.

Yesterday, relatives of some patients admitted to the hospital had resorted to protests, alleging that their patients were not being administered the drugs they had been prescribed.