Drug cheer at hospitals

The health department will include medicine for kidney, cancer, diabetes, hypertension and ophthalmology related disorders in the revised essential drugs list of the department under which free generic medicines are provided in all government health facilities.

By Our Correspondent in Patna
  • Published 12.03.18
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HELP AT HAND: Health minister Mangal Pandey at the event in Patna on Sunday. Picture by Manoj Kumar
 

Patna: The health department will include medicine for kidney, cancer, diabetes, hypertension and ophthalmology related disorders in the revised essential drugs list of the department under which free generic medicines are provided in all government health facilities.

The revised essential drugs list is supposed to be launched after a week.

Health minister Mangal Pandey made this announcement while releasing data of a rapid survey on inequality in health services in Bihar formulated by a non-government organisation Oxfam India and Centre for Health and Resource Management (CHARM) here on Sunday.

Speaking on the occasion, Pandey promised that his department will ensure drug availability at government hospitals as per the new essential drugs list.

The health department has been facing stark criticism in the past for non-availability of drugs in government hospitals and experts point out that drug unavailability has, in a way, also affected the number of patients visiting government facilities. The government data says that while 7.92 crore patients visited outpatient departments of government hospitals, the number reduced to 6.93 crore in 2015-16.

According to sources in the health department, the number of drugs in the revised essential drugs list will be increased from 172 to 181 but more drugs will be provided at the lower level such as in sadar hospitals and additional primary health centres.

So far as sadar hospitals are concerned, the number of medicines will be increased from 33 to around 70 in their outpatient departments. According to state health authorities, while there are a few new additions to the list but a number of drugs have been taken off as well because those medicines remain unutilised at the health facilities. This has been done after reviewing the type of patients visiting those facilities.

Pandey added that the number of Pradhan Mantri Bharatiya Janaushadhi Kendras, the generic drug medicine store under the Union government, will also increase in Bihar from the present 20 to 104 in coming days.

"The department has achieved around 85 per cent immunisation across the state and it has fixed the target of achieving 90 per cent immunisation target by end-March," Pandey added.

The NGO's survey report, which was released on this occasion, stated that the utilisation of free ambulance service was the lowest among Dalits and the highest among the general caste. "Only 14.3 per cent Dalits availed of the service, while the proportion of Muslim was 16.3 per cent and the general caste was 24.8 per cent. The survey also revealed that two-thirds of Muslims and nearly half of the Dalit respondents said no frontline health workers made post-natal visit to their homes after delivery of babies, while general caste respondents were found to be in a better position," said executive director of CHARM, Dr Shakeel Ur Rehman.