Chief Minister Nitish Kumar on Wednesday inaugurated three regional warehouses for storing medicines at Fatuha (Patna), Muzaffarpur and Kasba (Purnea), apart from revamping health institutions.
The chief minister inaugurated the services through video-conferencing from Samvad Bhavan. All the three warehouses are spread across 30,000sqft area and would be controlled through inventory management software (a computer-based system for tracking inventory levels, orders, sales and deliveries).
Nitish inaugurated projects worth around Rs 440.2 crore, including upgradation of 71 primary health centres to community health centres, construction of 10 General Nursing and Midwifery and 10 Auxiliary Nurse Midwifery schools, apart from construction work at Anugrah Narayan Medical College and Hospital, Gaya and Darbhanga Medical College and Hospital.
Ayushdhara, an unified supply chain of medicines was also inaugurated by the chief minister. Inaugurating Ayushdhara, Nitish said Bihar Medical Services and Infrastructure Corporation Limited (BMSICL) has been entrusted with procurement, storage and distribution of medicines.
Sources, however, said BMSICL has already been handed over these responsibilities sometime back and it has already started procuring medicines.
Recently, former health minister Ashwini Kumar Choubey alleged that Nitish Kumar was inaugurating schemes and programmes of the health department, which were already inaugurated by him.
In a recently held programme, Nitish had inaugurated telemedicine facility for state-run health institutions.
On the same day, Choubey issued a statement that he inaugurated the telemedicine facility several months ago. The officials of the firm, who are supposed to develop the telemedicine facility, made their stand clear that the facility was inaugurated at some health-run institution but a formal launch was to be done after the facility would be made operational at 100 centres.
Inaugurating the three warehouses, Nitish said: “BMSICL has also been assigned the responsibility of purchasing equipment and conducting necessary construction in the government hospitals.”
He added: “We decided to give these responsibilities to BMSICL, as we found problems in the earlier system of purchase. It has been found that heads of state-run hospitals are not showing interest in procurement of medicines and equipment as many of them believe they would have to face a vigilance inquiry if they fail in any step of the purchase. This is the reason funds are lying unused at many state-run health institutions.”
Deepak Kumar, the principal secretary, health, termed the inauguration of unified supply chain of medicines as a part of “second generation reforms” initiated by the state government in the sector.
“We have decided to make at least one additional primary health centres functional for 24 hours in all the 534 blocks. We have also decided to start radiology and pathology services in the two additional primary health centres. The decision to make computed tomography (CT) scan and MRI (magnetic resonance imaging) facility available at all government medical college hospital within the next six months has also been taken. We have also decided to start a 100-bed super-specialty maternity hospital on the campus of Nalanda Medical College.”
Sanjay Kumar, secretary, health, chief secretary A.K. Sinha and BMSICL managing director Pravin Kishore were present at the occasion.