After doctors complained of sub-standard suture material being supplied to hospitals (Ahmedabad Civil Hospital,SSG Hospital in Vadodara and the Cancer Hospital in Ahmedabad),the administration of the respective hospitals are awaiting the Health Departments intervention in the issue.
While purchase committees in all government hospitals decide the criteria for zeroing down on products and place orders,the purchase-specific guidelines issued by the Health Department prescribe the basic rules.
As per the existing circular issued by the Health Department,hospitals are supposed to use suture threads of IP/BP/USP quality standards. They are also bound to purchase the material from a company that offers the cheapest product and that too without the need for any lab-testing.
Incidentally,while the purchase committees have been following the guidelines,the Ahmedabad Civil Hospital had received a written complaint from a group of doctors from the Surgery and Orthopaedic Department a month ago.
A Health Department official said:We have been receiving similar complaints about poor quality suture threads being frequently used in quite a few hospitals in the state.
Hospital authorities now want the Health Department to make policy-level changes.
Civil Hospital Superintendent M M Anchalia said:After doctors pointed out in a written complaint about the bad quality of a particular batch of suture material,the entire batch was withdrawn from the operation theatres and sent for laboratory testing. As per norms,in such cases,we can ask for a replacement from the company,but the ultimate power lies with the Health Department.
He added:There have been demands from various quarters for blacklisting certain companies on the basis of substandard products supplied and we have sent a report to the officials. To control the situation,change in norms is required to be initiated at the department level.