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Implants in hospital shop

Siliguri, June 8: The North Bengal Medical College and Hospital fair price shop has started stocking orthopaedic implants after a patient’s family complained that a supplier had entered the OT in one instance when surgery was on.

The sale of implants would allow patients’ families to buy the items directly, not through touts. Also, patients’ kin would be saved from the possibility of paying extra for such a purchase as suppliers are known to overcharge.

On May 16, Uday Shankar Chanda had filed a complaint at NBMCH after a supplier of orthopaedic implants entered the OT while Chanda’s sister was undergoing a hip fracture surgery.

“The fair price monitoring committee had decided at a meeting on January that the shop will start providing orthopaedic implants at discounted rates. We had asked representatives of the private agency that runs the fair price shop at the hospital to start providing such implants,” said Sandeep Sengupta, a member of the fair price shop monitoring committee at NBMCH.

“It is imperative to appoint a technician who has knowledge of implants before supplying such implants at the fair price shop. The shop representatives had been delaying providing implants because they were not able to find a technician,” Sengupta said.

Chanda, a resident of Subhashpally in Siliguri, had alleged that Nirmal Mondal, a supplier of orthopaedic implants at NBMCH, had charged him Rs 16,800 for the proximal femoral nail to fix the hip joint fracture of his sister Bharati Das.

On inquiry, Chanda found out that the implant costs around Rs 6,000 in the market.

Mondal was arrested the same day on the basis of a complaint filed by NBMCH and charged with cheating. He was granted bail on June 3 by the additional chief judicial magistrate’s court.

Apollo Pharmacy, which runs the fair price shop at NBMCH, will provide the implants at 51 per cent discount, officials said. “It has been decided that relatives of patients will have to inform the fair price shop about the implant required at least 48 hours before the surgery,” Sengupta said.

The doctors will seek technical support from the implant companies for surgeries if required, sources said.