The ongoing strike of the All India Motor Transport Congress has started showing its negative impact on the healthcare system across Punjab with hospitals and drug stores facing the shortage of life-saving medicines.
With Punjab already battling with the dengue threat, the shortage of medicines is making the life of patients and their kin even more difficult.
Several patients who have to take the daily dose of medicines for liver dysfunction, renal impairment, cardiac problems, hypertension and diabetes etc have to arrange them from Ludhiana, Amritsar or Chandigarh, where pharmaceutical companies have stock in their depots.
Smaller cities like Pathankot, Gurdaspur and Batala, where pharmaceutical dealers keep medicine stock in small quantities, are the worst hit by the truckers’ strike.
Jarnail Singh of Himachal Pradesh whose wife is suffering from liver cirrhosis told Hindustan Times that he used to get medicine from Pathankot from a local stockist every month but he is not getting the required medicine now. The only chemist who was selling the medicine says he has not received the medicine due to the truckers’ strike, he said.
“Since the doctor has advised us not to miss even a single dose, I am worried as I have the dose left for two days only,” he rued.
Sanjay Kumar, a city-based chemist, claimed that he used to keep stock in such a manner that his requirement used to be fulfilled for the days to come. But since he did not receive fresh supply from the depots for several days he was running short of many a medicine, he said.
Even couriers companies, which are receiving excess orders these days, are not taking fresh orders from companies, he said.
Pathankot civil hospital senior medical officer (SMO) Dr Bhupinder Singh claimed that though the government provides many medicines in hospitals all drugs cannot be made available in the hospitals. “We are trying to cope up with this problem and have ordered essential
medicines in large quantities to deal with the shortage.”