Although the government allocated over Rs 2 billion this fiscal year for distribution of essential drugs free of cost through health centers, failure by the authorities to procure the medicines on time has hit the needy patients hard.
State-run health facilities are without essential drugs as the Primary Health Revitalization Division (PHRD) under the Department of Health Services has failed to procure and supply medicines even six months after the start of the ongoing fiscal year. The negligence has not only deprived the needy patients of basic health service but also posed a threat to positive health indicators.
Senior officials at DoHS said the main reason behind the delay in drug procurement is the fear of action from the Commission for the Investigation of Abuse of Authority (CIAA). “Earlier, concerned officials got hefty commissions. But now, with the CIAA keeping a close eye, no one wants to take a risk,” said the official on condition of anonymity.
MoHP distributes 42 types of medicines free of cost from district hospitals, 35 types of medicines from primary health centers and 25 types of medicines from health posts and sub-health posts. The government had decided to provide additional 30 types of medicines for non-communicable diseases free of cost from health centers.
Alapot Health Post, which is 17 kilometers north-east of Kathmandu, had called an emergency meeting of the management committee and organized an all-party meeting to press the government to supply medicines some two months ago, but to no avail reports My Republica Online.