LAHORE - The Punjab's  Finance Department has withdrawn a bill of Rs 50 million to make payment to different companies, supplying medicines and other necessary equipment to the Mayo Hospital, putting in jeopardy the provision of free medicines in the emergency and elsewhere in the hospital. The payment was withdrawn a few days after it was issued by the Finance Department, forcing the medical companies to stop their supplies to the hospital. With the suspension of supplies, the lives of scores of patients could be at high risk Already the supply of medical gases have also been suspended to as many as 17 operation theatres of the hospital, ICU and CCU departments due to which  both patients and hospital administration are in a very awkward position. Hospital sources revealed that the hospital was left with the stock of only one week that included the stocks for the main emergency department as the Finance Department stopped payment of Rs 50 million. When matter was brought into knowledge of the Secretary Health Punjab Dr. Anwar A Khan, he asked the Finance department to resolve the issue on emergency basis. However, despite intervention of the Secretary Health and some other senior officers of the health department, the payment has not been made so far. The present hospital management claimed that some vested interests in the medical community were using their influence to defame the present administration of the hospital. Meanwhile, some important companies have threatened administration to suspend further supplies of medicines to the hospital if their dues were not cleared within next few days. It is also learnt that in order to avoid any untoward incident or mishap, the hospital administration has started purchasing medicines from local market on its own risk for the treatment of the critical patients especially those who had been advised immediate surgeries. Since the Finance Department has stopped payment, the administration has purchased medicines of Rs. 5.3 million assuring the owners of local pharmacies that the administration would pay them from the payment promised by the Finance department. When contacted the Secretary Finance Department Sohail Ahmad, said that matter to withdraw payment Rs. 50 million in respect of Purchase of Medicines for Mayo Hospital Lahore is not in his knowledge. When this scribe gave reference of a letter issued on May 24, 2008 by the Government of the Punjab Finance Department (Budget Wing) to withdraw/cancel the grant of Rs. 50 million, he refused to comment on the issue. It is pertinent to mention here that the hospital administration has submitted a detailed list of shortage of life saving drugs besides other necessary equipments to the Punjab Health department with a request that delay in issuing bill could cause loss of human lives.