Agra: Pradhan Mantri Jan Aushadhi medical stores in Agra district public hospitals are reportedly facing a huge shortage of drugs and surgical items, and patients are forced to buy them from private medical stores at a “higher price” “.
According to health department records, 600 types of drugs and 145 types of surgical items are offered in the four PM Jan Aushadhi medical stores in the district. However, on Wednesday only 300 drugs were available and “surgical items were out of stock at all centers,” officials said. Skin, neurology, ENT, antibiotics and syrups for children which are generally in high demand have fallen behind.
Prime Minister Jan Aushadhi’s program was launched in 2015. It is a campaign led by the Department of Pharmaceuticals to provide quality medicines at affordable prices to the masses. Jan Aushadhi stores were established to supply generic drugs, which are available at lower prices but are equivalent in quality and effectiveness to expensive brand name drugs.
The four Jan Aushadhi stores in Agra are located at the District Hospital, Lady Lyall (District Women’s Hospital), Sarojini Naidu Medical College and the Institute of Mental Health. According to the official estimate, more than 1,500 patients visit these health centers per day.
A chief medical officer at the district hospital, who wished to remain anonymous, said: “Jan Aushadhi stores aim to reduce the health care budget of ordinary people by providing quality generic drugs at affordable prices. The cost of drugs and surgical items at the center is provided to patients at a cost up to 90% lower than market prices. However, the lack of necessary drugs and surgical items remains a major problem at the center, and patients often complain that they have to shop in private stores.
A rickshaw driver who lives in Namner town, Mukesh Kumar, 38, said: “I have an allergy to my throat and nose. A doctor at the district hospital recommended three drugs, none of which were available at the Jan Aushadhi store. I was asked to come after 2-3 days.
Unable to get the medication prescribed by the doctor at Lady Lyall Hospital, a resident of Jagdishpura, Munni Devi said, “I have been suffering from painful rashes for a month. A doctor had suggested two drugs and an ointment. I was asked to come after two days because the stock is not available. Earlier too, I was not able to get them to come here.
Another local resident who lives in Wazirpura, Mohammad Shafiq, said: “I have nerve pain near my left ear. A doctor from SN Medical recommended two drugs. Both are not available here. They offer a pain relieving ointment that I don’t want.
When contacted, Jan Aushadhi District Store Manager Ravindra Singh said, “The issue of drugs and surgical items not available in stores has been referred to the state government. There is a high demand due to the spread of vector-borne diseases and changing weather conditions, which has resulted in a shortage of drugs and surgical items. We expect the required stock to be available by the end of this week.