Hospitals receive vital medicine supplies

Minister says shortage addressed with Rs10b allocation

Our Correspondent May 27, 2024
Health ministers from Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa and Balochistan expressed concerns about the unavailability of common-use medicines, attributing it to non-viable prices. photo: file


A consignment of essential medicines has been dispatched to seven more districts across Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa to address the ongoing shortage.

Official sources told The Express Tribune that the Health Department has provided emergency medicines to District Headquarters Hospitals (DHQs) in Abbottabad, Haripur, Karak, Kohat, Mardan, and Nowshera, as well as to Nasirullah Babar Memorial Hospital in Nowshera.

Provincial Health Minister Syed Qasim Ali Shah announced that there is a sufficient supply of medicines in the warehouses, and the distribution to all hospitals in the province is proceeding as required.

He highlighted that Rs10 billion has been allocated for the purchase of medicines this year. Speaking to the media during the dispatch of medicines to the seven DHQs, he assured that there is currently no shortage of medicines in these hospitals.

The Health Minister noted that during the holy month of Ramazan, the Health Department had already provided medicines to 13 District Health Offices (DHOs) and 17 DHQ hospitals. He emphasized that it is the government’s responsibility to meet health-related needs, a task they are diligently undertaking.

He asserted that the non-availability of medicines in any hospital in the province is unacceptable, and to this end, hospitals are being equipped with modern equipment, laboratories, and other essential facilities, including the necessary medicines.

Shah observed that supplying medicines to remote hospitals would not only reduce the burden on hospitals in Peshawar but also provide health facilities to people in their local areas.

It is worth recalling that earlier this year, The Express Tribune reported that financial crises in Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa hospitals were severely impacting their operations and causing a critical shortage of medicines. Official sources revealed that the Director General of Health Services had recently urged the government to release Rs9 billion urgently. In a letter, the provincial government was informed about the scarcity of anti-rabies vaccines, immunoglobulins, and other emergency medicines in hospitals across the province. The letter also highlighted the absence of anti-snake bite injections, which had resulted in deaths.

The letter, written by then DG Health Dr. Shaukat Ali, disclosed that the directorate was in debt of Rs2.67 billion due to unpaid dues to pharmaceutical companies for procured medicines. Dr. Ali requested that the directorate be granted Rs6 billion immediately to settle these debts. He noted that the health department had allocated a budget of Rs990.7 million to help clear some of these dues, but this amount was insufficient.

When contacted, then Secretary Health Mehmood Aslam stated that the provincial government was experiencing a severe shortage of funds under the caretaker government due to the national economic recession. He explained that they had demanded the necessary funds to ensure the smooth operation of hospitals.

Published in The Express Tribune, May 27th, 2024.


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