BY FLYNN REMEDIOS: In most Health Centres in Goa – rural or primary and community as well as the urban health centres – essential and emergency medication and treatment for a range of serious ailments and diseases like diabetes, hypertension, blood pressure, etc are completely out of stock or not available most of the time. Even when the medicines become available, the stocks are depleted almost immediately, as the same are handed over to patients waiting for stocks to arrive.
In fact, as IndiaScribes.com has found out, due to the non-availability of medicines, some patients have started hoarding medicines as and when stocks are available, possibly in direct or indirect collusion with some health centre officials.
The problem is very serious in the remote areas and rural areas of Goa, where the health centres do not have any stock of medicines. Patients are forced to buy medicines from private chemists and the government run centres are almost non-functional in several areas. The Monsoon season has further complicated the problem for the poor living in rural Goa.
IndiaScribes.com volunteer reporters posing as patients visited Community Health Centres at Canacona, Curchorem and Pernem and Primary Health Centres at Siolim, Aldona, Quepem, Betki and Urban Health Centres at Mapusa and Margao, where they were told that certain medicines are not available and out of stock.
They were told to visit the health centre after a few days, when the medicines would be expected or to buy the medicines from private chemists, as due to the monsoons and due to increased demand for medicines during this period stocks of medicines are not available in Goa.
According to a Times of India report, after a surprise inspection at the Panaji urban health centre (UHC) on Tuesday (yesterday), health minister Vishwajit Rane issued a note to health secretary to issue a memo to the director of the directorate of health services, Dr Sanjeev Dalvi, and UHC’s health officer Dr Preetam Naik for short supply of medicines at the center.
According to the Times of India, Rane also directed the health secretary to seek a detailed explanation from both as to why medicines were not available at the outpatient department (OPD). During his visit, Rane found that regular medicines, like Metformin meant for treating diabetes, distributed at the OPD was unavailable. Rane said it is for more than three months that the UHC is running without medicines, and added that they will be made available in the next 48 hours.
“I was shocked to find that even diabetes medicines were not available. If this is the state of affairs in the CM’s constituency, I’ve no clue what is going on at other health centres. Insulin pens are already available at Mapusa district hospital and the same should be made available at UHC,” Health Minister Vishwajit Rane told TOI adding, “I’ve issued a note to the health secretary to issue both a memo,” said Rane.
Besides allopathic, homeopathic and ayurvedic medicines are also in short supply at the UHC, compelling patients to purchase them from outside, reports TOI.
Taking Dr Dalvi to task for the poor state of affairs at the primary health centre (PHC) and the UHC, Rane directed him not to travel out of Goa for next two-three months.”I have directed Dr Dalvi not to travel out of the state till UHCs and PHCs are properly functioning. In case of an emergency, the deputy director of health may travel,” said Rane, according to the Times of India report.
with inputs from Times of India