AFTER a five-member committee appointed in December last year to probe medicine shortage in BMC-run hospitals pointed out serious lapses on part of the contractors and civic officials, Additional Municipal Commissioner (Health) Idzes Kundan has recommended the blacklisting of one company and debarring of four others from participating in any further contracts related to supply of medicine to civic hospitals.
Kundan has also directed that showcause notices be issued to officers of dispensaries, maternity homes and hospitals for not taking timely stock of the situation. According to the inquiry report, which was submitted to the BMC in January, most of the suppliers had failed to supply the required quantity of medicines on time. Among the five top suppliers, while the topmost supplier failed to deliver medicines 394 times in a year, the other four missed their deadlines 55 times, 38 times, 27 times and 23 times, respectively.
The report suggested that the company that had missed deadlines 394 times should be blacklisted with immediate effect and others be debarred from taking part in any further tenders. However, the companies have been asked to supply medicines till their contracts are over, it added.
In December 2018, BMC-runs hospitals were hit by sudden shortage of medicines. According to the report, most hospitals had used up their two-year stock in one year. “In 2017, we purchased medicines worth Rs 46 crore for two years… 40 per cent excess medicines were also bought. But the quota was exhausted much before time,” said a BMC official. Also, allegations were made that at many places, medicines were sold to private chemists, leading to the shortage.
Following this, Kundan had ordered a probe to check what has caused the shortage. Deputy Municipal Commissioner (Public Health) Sunil Dhamne said the report has been submitted. An official involved in the inquiry said that the report has recommended 13 measures and actions. Some of these include a sub-committee be formed to find out if there is any pilferage of medicines in hospitals; look into details of fines collected from suppliers for delay in supply; review supply and action taken against top five defaulters every year; review by dean or executive health officer of medicine stocks every month; strict monitoring at store level; and tenders be invited six months before scheduled expiry of stock.
Meanwhile, the report has also pointed towards overconsumption of most of the medicines. For example, while Danazole 200 mg was over used 475 per cent times, Respoules 2 ml containing Budesonide was over used 342 per cent times and Ulinastatin 5 ml vial was over consumed 212 per cent times. Officials said that last year, medicines like Albendazole (used for treating infections), Ceftriaxone and I mispenmantibiotic (used for bacterial infections), Diclofenac (reduces pain and inflammation), Pioglitazone (used for high blood sugar for diabetes) were in short supply.