The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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District dose of self-treatment

Burdwan, June 5: Burdwan Medical College Hospital not only cares for its patients but also takes care to make its own essential medicines for them.

In the process, the hospital has not only saved itself a long wait for medical supplies from the government but also saved the state a lot of money.

The hospital manufactures distilled water and a number of essential medicines such as oral rehydration solution (ORS), benzene and mercurochrome in its own laboratory.

The unique example the hospital has set in the state is being considered a model for other government-run hospitals in Bengal to follow.

According to the hospital’s project report sent to the government, the state’s central medical stores is buying ORS from the market at Rs 2.50 a packet compared with the hospital’s rate of Rs 1.45 for the same quantity.

The hospital, with an annual requirement of 30,000 ORS packets, has thus saved the state Rs 31,500 in a year.

The hospital’s pharmacists are now awaiting the government’s nod to manufacture their own disinfectant, which would be used to sanitise the premises.

Official bottlenecks, however, have delayed the health department’s sanction for the venture that is estimated to cost Rs 6 lakh. “If the government gives us the permission, we will be able to save Rs 1,33,792 every year,” a hospital source said.

For now, the hospital pays Rs 128 for every 5 litres of phenyl. “We need 200,000 litres of phenyl every year. If we manufacture it in our own laboratory, we will save Rs 87,000 in a year,” a hospital official said.

Swapan Ghosh, the pharmacist in charge of the hospital’s manufacturing unit, vouched for the superior quality of their products. “The quality of these essential medicines is undoubtedly better than the ones manufactured by different private companies. The health minister, too, has welcomed our initiative,” he said.

Sanat Chakraborty, another pharmacist with the unit, said: “We have been manufacturing essential medicines here for the past three years. These medicines are being prescribed for outdoor patients of the hospital. And, if necessary, we supply it to rural health centres and subdivisional hospitals in the district.”

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