Medicine shortage adds miseries of poor patients

Rafiullah Mandokhail

Zhob

The second largest district of the province, less-privileged and remote area Zhob has a poor health system despite its half million population. The shortage of the other medicines in general but life saving drugs in particular have added the miseries of poor patient manifold.
At the state-run district headquarters civil hospital, a senior doctor termed it the failure of both the provincial and district health department to ensure the supply of life-saving drugs that has left critical patients who come from far-flung areas at the mercy of profiteers, who run their businesses around the hospital.
“It is very unfortunate that such a big hospital is running without some crucial medicines and injections”. He lamented.
Saleh Muhammad, resident of bordering area Kakar Khurasan, who is suffering from hepatitis, said the hospital, has become a picture of neglect, forcing attendants to turn to private medicals and laboratories for medicines and tests at exorbitant rates.
“The elite class and influential people of the area received medical treatment at the private hospitals, but the poor patients are compelled to visit public hospital that lacked facilities.” He criticized.
When contacted medical superintendent Dr. Akhter Mandokhail, he said that Government Medical Store Depot Balochistan (MSD) provides medical supplies including life saving-drugs worth Rs.19 million annually, which is insufficient to cater to the needs of the hospital. The annual budgetary allocation has not been revised for long, adding the approved grant for the DHQ is insufficient for the procurement of medicines and other supplies.
“The allocation of budget for DHQ hospital is not made proportionate to the strength of patients attended here. The issue has been taken up with provincial concern authorities, but every time we are told that the procurement procedure is in progress.”
The hospital head further said though it was very difficult to manage all kinds of medicines at all Rural Health Centers and Basic Health Units, but DHQ was at the top among other health facilities in providing life-saving drugs to patients besides other services.
“More than four hundred patients visit the OPD on daily basis. The first priority is to make the medicines available at the hospital to save precious lives,” the MS vowed.

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