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A day after expired medicines found at Moga clinic, probe into how photographs leaked out

In a blatant cover-up, Moga chief medical officer’s inquiry report denies that there had even been a recovery of expired drugs; says photographs of expired drugs sent to a common WhatsApp group by mistake.

punjab Updated: Jul 26, 2017 14:21 IST
Parampreet Singh Narula
Parampreet Singh Narula
Hindustan Times, Moga
Moga clinic,expired medicines,health department
In a telephonic conversation with this correspondent on Monday at 5.08pm, Dr Rupinder had admitted to having recovered the stock of expiry medicines from the Mehra sub-centre. (HT Photo)

In a blatant cover-up of ‘deadly negligence’, the inquiry report into the seizure of expired medicines at a government clinic at Mehra village in Moga on Monday states that no such stock was ever found. This was even as HT had published the news of the seizure with photographs of the expired medicines on Tuesday.

The inquiry report from Moga chief medical officer (CMO) Dr Maninder Kaur Minhas says that district family planning officer (DFPO) Dr Rupinder Kaur Gill, who led the inspection team, has said that no expired medicines were recovered.

“District Family Planning Officer (DFPO) Dr Rupinder Kaur Gill has stated in her note that she had not recovered any expiry medicines during the visit to Mehra sub-centre on Monday. Now, we are investigating that how did the photos of expired medicines make it to the social media, and why,” the inquiry report says.

Doc had admitted to seizure on Monday

In a telephonic conversation with this correspondent on Monday at 5.08pm, Dr Rupinder had admitted to having recovered the stock of expiry medicines from the Mehra sub-centre. In its report on Tuesday, HT had highlighted that a team from the National Health Mission (NHM) had recovered medicines with expiry dates of February, April and June this year in stock at the Adolescent Reproductive and Sexual Health (ARSH) clinic cum sub-centre Mehra on Monday.

HT had also learnt that health authorities, without bringing the recovery of the expired stock on record, have disposed of the stock. Dr Rupinder did not respond to repeated calls of this correspondent on Tuesday.

What were the medicines seized

The medicines seized include vials of Amoxycillin Oral suspension IP dry syrup (used for bacterial infection) with expiry date February 2017; tablets of paracetamol with expiry date April 2017 and some Dexamethasone injections (used to treat allergies) with expiry date June 2017.

“This stock of medicine was being used to treat patients, mostly children, coming to the centre,” sources alleged. Under the rules, hospitals and clinics are must not keep even a single tablet of the expired medicine. Any such stock has to be destroyed immediately. On Monday, Minhas had claimed that she had issued a letter to all SMOs to destroy any expired stock. She had also warned of checks, to be carried out from Friday.

The ARSH centres had been opened under the NHM with a focus on health-care needs of the adolescents and clinics. These comprise special, dedicated staff to motivate youngsters to open up and talk about their problems.

First Published: Jul 26, 2017 14:09 IST