Statesman News Service
Raiganj, 11 November
The authorities of Islampur sub divisional hospital of North Dinajpur district reportedly did not pay several lakhs to some medicine shops in Islampur against the supply of medicine to patients under Janani Sishu Surakhkha Kajjakram (JSSK) project. So two medicine shops out of three, under this scheme, stopped supplying medicine to patients. Another shop also threatened to stop the supply of medicine immediately against the same reason ~ non payment of bill. Under these circumstances the patients expecting free medicine under this scheme are suffering.
According to the source of district health office of North Dinajpur all the labour patients who confirm their delivery in government hospital can get  facilities under this JSSK scheme which ensures free treatment and medicine for the child since birth to 28 days. The pregnant mother can get free treatment and medicinal facilities from the date of admission till her release from the hospital. The doctors prescribe medicine on a paper. The patients with this prescription get necessary medicine from selected medicine shops free of cost. The payment to the medicine shops is made by the concerned hospital authorities.
Last year the authorities of Islampur sub divisional hospital provided this supply order of medicine under JSSK scheme to two medicine shops. Around three months ago such medicine shops stopped supply of medicine to the patients under this scheme because they are due to receive around Rs 23 lakh. Around a month ago another medicine shop was given tender for supplying medicine to patients under this scheme. Reportedly the new shop has around Rs 10 lakh due.   
One of the retailers of medicine in Islampur Mr Pranab Ghosh said: "The authorities of Islampur Sub divisional hospital are not paying our due, Rs 17 lakh, for supplying medicine under the JSSK scheme. Now we are considering legal step to get this money."
Mr Samrat Chaudhury, owner of another medicine shop in Islampur said: "The Islampur sub divisional hospital authorities are not paying Rs 6 lakh under JSSK scheme for months. Several times we urged them to pay us. But to no avail. So we were compelled to stop  supplying  medicine."
The Superintendent of Islampur Subdivisional hospital, Dr Sukhendu Biswas said: “Recently an irregularity of fund was found in account section of our hospital. An investigation started over the incident. So no payment will be made without proper verification of the bills.”