The gloomy face of patients and their attendants, returning from the free medicine counters established within the campus of Patna Medical College Hospital (PMCH), suggest that not “all is well” with the health of PMCH, not at least the free medicine counters.
HT investigations reveal, that the medicine counters set up to serve poor patients, hardly cater to their needs, for they are most times devoid of life saving drugs. Against the listed 102 drugs at the out patient department counter, there were hardly eight types of medicines available there. Similarly, against the listed 302 drugs at the indoor counter, only two-three medicines were found.
However, superintendent of the hospital Dr Amar Kant Jha “Amar” claimed, that not all, but a majority of the listed medicines were available in the drug stores.
Notwithstanding his assertion, a visit to the hospital revealed, that the hapless patients were not getting even life saving drugs from the free counters, which had been opened with much fanfare.
“I couldn’t get even a single medicine out of the six prescribed by the doctors,” lamented the attendant of a serious patient Raj Kumar, who was suffering from liver disorder. The patient was prescribed, Liv 52 , Udilip 300 mg, Indiryl 40 mg, livsan syrup , Lasilacton tab 20/50 mg).
“Hum bahut gareeb hain. Bahar se dawa nahin khareed saktein (We are too poor to buy medicines from private medicine shops)” said the attendant, while trying to control her tears.
Kin of another patient B.Karma Tiwary, who came from Champaran and was undergoing treatment for kidney disorder expressed rage over the prevailing state of affairs. “What is the use of giving false hopes, if nothing can be delivered to the poor, not even life saving formulations? If I had money, I would have gone to a private hospital,” said he in exasperation.
The situation seemed to be more or less similar at the drug counter outside, where patients were distressed on account of humid conditions. Zara Fatima, who had an ear infection, could not get even a single drug prescribed for her ailment.
Asked about the availability of medicines, no one on the counters or the administration were forthcoming. “You should better get the information through the RTI,” said a staff.