Patients deprived of free medicine service

- POST REPORT, Biratnagar
Patients deprived of free medicine service

Dec 4, 2014-

Many patients visiting government hospitals and health posts in eastern Nepal districts of Jhapa, Morang and Sunsari have been deprived of medicines provided by the government for free. Lack of awareness about the facility is attributed to these patients being denied free medicines.

The government has been providing 40 types of medicines for free at the government health facilities including district hospitals, health posts and sub health posts. What’s more, the government recently decided to provide additional 30 types of medicines for free to the patients visiting these health facilties.

 The government has already directed the Ministry of Health and Populations to implement the decision. However, government health facilities in eastern districts have complained that on an average they only get 25 types of such free medicines.

Saroj Bastola, chief of Dharan Town Health Centre, confirmed that on an average only 25 types of the medicines meant to be provided to the patients for free is supplied to Dharan-based health institutions.

Ram Bahadur Rai, in-charge of the Panchkanya Health Post in Dharan-22, said that they have been receiving only 32 types of such free medicines at present. He added that he is not aware of the government directive to provide 70 types of the medicines for free to the patients visiting the health post.

Raj Narayan Mandal, public health director at the Sunsari District Public Health Office, said that they are yet to supply all 72 types of medicines (that are meant to be provided to the patients for free) to the government health facilities owing to lack of budget and necessary process involved in it.  

He said that they have received names of all types of free medicines to be supplied to the government health facilities in the district, adding, however, that they are yet to get directives to distribute them.

Mandal further said that they would announce the tender for distribution of the free medicines once they get the required budget for the task. When asked what did they think about the government’s recent decision to provide 70 types of medicines for free, Bharat Shah, acting chief at the Regional Medical Store in Biratnagar said that though they have heard about the recent government decision, but they are yet to be formally informed about it.

Murari Acharya, in-charge of a health post in Pathari in Morang, said that they are compelled to turn back patients of high blood pressure and diabetes as they haven’t been provided with the free medicines for them.

Meanwhile, patients visiting the Jhapa-based Mechi Zonal Hospital have complained that only those people with access to power are getting free treatment as well as medicines meant for the helpless and impoverished people.

(With inputs from Harsha Subba in Dharan, Binod Bhandari in Biratnagar and Parbat Portel in Kakadvitta)

Published: 05-12-2014 09:18

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