A majority of the medicines on the list of the Niramaya centers (free medicine outlets), are not available causing hardship to the poor patients in the district here. The delay is due to the non-availability of quarantine test reports which are mandatory before releasing the batch of medicines to the Niramaya outlet.
The Odisha government had launched the ‘Niramaya’ scheme for free distribution of medicines in 2015 to provide medicines under this scheme through the OSMC (Odisha State Medical Corporation).
due to the apathy of health officials. There are two Niramaya outlets on the premises of DHH in Jagatsinghpur hospital while CHCs and PHCs have one each .There is a central warehouse where the medicines are stocked for supply.
While private pharma shops are crowded, the Niramaya outlets are deserted due to the non-availability of medicines.
According to officials, 80 per cent of the medicines for the outlets are procured from OSMC while 20 percent is procured by local District Drug and Therapeutics Committee (DDTC) from different medicine companies through tender.
Besides, the local authority purchases medicines in emergency cases. The medicines procured by OSMC and DDTC require quarantine test reports for its free distribution. Allegedly, there is delay in the submission of quarantine test reports of different medicines, injections and other items by different medicine companies.
As a result, the supply of free medicines to Niramaya outlets has been severely affected.
Several patients have alleged that they do not get medicine at Niramaya stores and are forced to approach private shops.
Reportedly, the supply of medicines to the warehouse without conducting any tests, negligence of health officials and the lack of supervision for smooth disbursement of free medicines are the main causes for the shortage of medicine in the outlets, alleged reliable sources.
“A racket is operating and it ensures delay in supplies to the Niramaya store as well as providing the test reports.” said a medical representative of a reputed pharma company, on condition of anonymity. When asked about the issue, additional District Medical Officer Jahar Kumar Mahant said, “There is a provision to submit quarantine test reports within at most 15 to 30 days of the arrival of medicines. Despite this, the test reports of some of the medicines do not reach the outlets. Consequently, the supply of such medicines is affected.”
Accroding to Mahant, out of the 260 types of medicines deisgnated for supply, at least 123 different items of medicines had been supplied to the outlets.