An audit report from the principal director of audit (central), Chandigarh, has slammed Government Medical College and Hospital (GMCH), Sector 32, administration for failure to provide drugs at affordable rates to over 6 lakh patients who availed the hospital’s services for year 2015-16.
“The cost of manufacturing drugs is relatively low, but medicines are being sold at higher prices. There are abnormally high trade margins,” the report adds.
GMCH-32 has leased out chemists shops in the hospital with an agreement to provide 15% discount on branded medicines and 30% on surgical items and generic medicines. The shops bring in an average monthly rent between Rs 18 lakh and Rs 20 lakh. There is no chemist shop in GMCH-32 that provide drugs at heavy discount.
“The hospital had failed to provide affordable drugs for the treatment of 6,47,182 patients during 2015-16,” the report said, adding that the hospital was apprised of the fact last year too, but no action was taken.
The department replied that if the model of AIIMS is adopted where the discount of 56% is given by the chemist shop, there may be loss to the state exchequer.“The reply of the department is not tenable as the GMCH is not a revenue department but a service department,” the report said.
“A committee was formed to look into the system at the AIIMS and PGIMER and we found that the shops remained out-of-stock most items. What is the point of having a chemist shop at 57% discount which remains out-of-stock all the time?, ” said GMCH-32 director principal Dr Atul Sachdev.