The Delhi government has launched a helpline on which residents can message the names of medicines that they are unable to procure from government hospital pharmacies.
An app on which photographs of prescriptions can be uploaded has also been started.
People can send an SMS on the number 8745051111 with the names of medicines or download the app from Google play store.
“Once a person messages the name of a medicine or uploads a prescription, someone from the CPA will get back to tell them when the medicine will be available at the hospital. This may take around six to 24 hours. Sometimes, a medicine that is available in one particular hospital may be in stock at some other government hospital or the CPA warehouse,” said Delhi health minister Satyendar Jain.
Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal had last month promised to make available all medicines prescribed by the doctors at all hospital pharmacies from February 1.
The government — in order to ensure that government doctors only prescribed from the list of essential medicines — has also issued an order asking all doctors to write their names, sign and stamp every prescription from February 1. The order says disciplinary action will be initiated against doctors who don’t follow this rule.
The rule, however, led to confusion on Day 1 of its implementation in many hospitals as many doctors did not have their stamps and patients had to go back and forth from the pharmacy to the OPD to get their prescription stamped.
The upgraded essential drugs list (EDL) now has around 790 medicines but not all of which will be available at every hospital. “The supply of medicines will be need-based. Only the medicines prescribed at a hospital will be stocked,” said Jain.
The new EDL has been divided into four categories — category A that has only 100 medicines prescribed to 80% of the patients, category B that has 150 medicines prescribed to 15% of the patients, and category C and D which account for more than 500 medicines used by only 5% of the patients.