KARACHI   -  Due to flawed policy of the Sindh Health Department, public hospitals around Sindh have run out of lifesaving medicines. The situation is causing a severe inconvenience and has forced millions of people to buy costly medicines from medical stores outside the hospitals at exorbitant rates.

A source on the condition of anonymity said, “The shortage of drugs has badly affected the patient care in the province.”

All major hospitals in Karachi, including Civil Hospital, Jinnah Postgraduate Medical Centre, National Institute of Child Health, Sindh Government Hospital of Liaquatabad, Lyari General Hospital and hospitals in Korangi, New Karachi, Saudabad and Ibrahim Haidery have been facing shortage of lifesaving medicines. The health facilities of Hyderabad, Larkana, Sukkur, Mirpurkhas, Shaheed Benazirabad and other cities have also run out of lifesaving medicines. The medicines for patients suffering from chronic diseases and infectious and systemic diseases are not available in government sector hospitals. “It is all happening due to failure of the Centralised Drug Purchase Committee,” the source said.

The source further revealed that for the last six months health department had failed to purchase lifesaving medicines for health facilities and stocks of drugs have ended at all hospitals. The shortage of medicines has intensified at the hospitals in Sindh and supply of lifesaving drugs has not started yet because of delay in tender process, the source said.

“The stock of surgical equipment has ended in all health facilities and patients have been compelled to buy drugs or other surgical instruments from markets,” the source said.

Medical Superintendent of Civil Hospital Prof Dr Sabir Memon told The Nation that shortage of medicines in hospitals of Sindh had been a problem since the beginning of the current fiscal year, which had affected the operation of health facilities of the province. He said that stock of drugs had almost ended at the health facility and hospital administration was providing medicines to admitted patients through local purchase.  “Thank God! There are NGOs, which make us believe in humanity. The rural Sindh’s condition is worst otherwise,” he commented.

However, he said that “it was a difficult task to arrange lifesaving drugs for 7000 OPD, 1500 emergency and 2000 admitted patients on a daily basis, but the administration is striving to provide medicines to all patients”.

Head of Centralized Drug Purchase Committee Dr Saeed Qureshi said while talking to The Nation that the problem had to be solved immediately. He said however most of tenders had already been approved. He said that medicines procurement tender would be issued within week.

“We will ensure the problem does not surface in the next fiscal year,” he said. Sindh Secretary Health Dr Muhammad Usman Chachar was not available for comment.






Ali Ousat