KARACHI: According to the sources, the provincial government run health facilities had been facing an acute shortage of life-saving drugs and disposal surgical items for the last six months. This was attributed to the sheer negligence of the concerned authorities in the Sindh Health Department.
The patients in Sindh’s hospitals, including the Dr Ruth Pfau Civil Hospital Karachi (CHK), Jinnah Postgraduate Medical Centre (JPMC), Sindh Government Lyari General Hospital, Sindh Government Hospital Liaquatabad, National Institute of Child Health (NICH), and others, were often asked by doctors to purchase medicines from their own pocket.
On the other hand, sources at the Sindh Health Department noted that the procurement process of life-saving drugs, surgical and disposable items, X-rays films, and chemical and allied items through a centralized system of drug procurement was in its final phase. The supply of drugs to hospitals was likely to resume in a month.
The hospitals of Hyderabad, Larkana, Sukkur, Mirpurkhas, Shaheed Benazirabad, and other cities were also facing a shortage of life-saving drugs and other items. Many crucial medicines for patients, who were suffering from chronic diseases, were also unavailable in most government sector hospitals.
The Sindh Health Department had introduced a centralized procurement system in 2014-15 to purchase life-saving drugs for all the hospitals in order to control corruption and other irregularities in purchasing medicines. Since then, about 85% of the medication for all the public hospitals in Sindh was being procured through a centralized system, while the remaining 15% was being procured through a local-purchase system.
The lengthy and complicated procurements procedure had put the lives of many poor patients in danger across the Sindh province as the supply of medicines to public sector hospitals had not started yet despite the passage of several months.
At present, almost all major government hospitals of Sindh were facing an acute shortage of life-saving drugs and surgical items.
An official at the CHK told that the tender for procurement of medicines and surgical items through the central procurement system should had been issued in May or June to avoid the ongoing crisis-like situation.
However, Sindh’s hospitals faced this situation every year due to the complicated and lengthy procedure of medicine purchase.
He further informed that the provision of drugs and surgical items to the OPD and emergency patients on a daily basis had become even more difficult for the administration.