After a slew of thefts and attempts of theft at the pharmacy in Post Graduate Institute of Medical Education and Research (PGIMER), an FIR was registered regarding the theft of 32 albumin injections that took place at the medical store on the night of February 16.
The theft happened when two pharmacists, who were on duty at the pharmacy, went to get cups of tea and allegedly left the pharmacy door unlocked.
On conducting a regular stock check in the morning, the pharmacists discovered that the injections were missing and thus reported the incident to the authorities immediately.
“We have filed an FIR and now the case is in the police’s hands. We have also made some security recommendations to ensure that such incidents do not occur in the future,” said a security official of the hospital.
According to the official, an attempt was made to steal medicines from the pharmacy on February 15 as well, but the culprits were caught before they could flee with the store.
“Another such incident also occurred about a month ago, wherein albumin injections were stolen from the pharmacy,” said the official.
“One of the accused in the theft was identified as a hospital attendant,” said the police regarding the case.
Although there are no CCTV cameras installed inside or outside the pharmacy at the hospital, an eyewitness was able to identify the attendants who stole the injections.
“The identified individual was then traced through CCTV cameras installed elsewhere in the hospital. We calculated the time it would have taken for them to exit the compound and were able trace the CCTV footage accordingly and identify the thieves,” said PC Sharma, Chief Security Officer of PGIMER.
Apart from the lack of CCTV cameras, security officials from the hospital said that the pharmacy was vulnerable to theft especially at night because the doors and windows of the store are not latched properly and anyone can access the pharmacy at any hour throughout the day.
“Hence, from now on, we have asked them to make sure that at night, the medicines are sold through a single window located outside the pharmacy and no patient or public be allowed inside,” added Sharma.
The PGIMER pharmacy is open to poor patients, patients with insurance under the Ayushman Bharat scheme as well as PGIMER officials and their relatives.
Due to the burden of patients and an acute lack of space at the pharmacy, a proposal to for renovation and refurbishment was allegedly approved in 2001, but as of now, no tender has been floated regarding renovation work at the pharmacy.
Outside the pharmacy, a narrow passage leads to a row of counters often separated through reused packaging boxes cardboards.
“There are many difficulties here at the pharmacy and everyone at the administration is aware of this but we keep working regardless,” said an employee at the pharmacy, on the condition of anonymity.
The employee also claims that the pharmacy is chronically short staffed, making it more vulnerable to security threats.
“Furthermore, there is no security guard stationed outside. Hence, the responsibility of securing the place completely befalls on us,” said the employee.
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