Private drugs sellers’ syndicate blocks procurement for hospital pharmacyA syndicate of private pharmacies has allegedly intervened to block the medicines procurement process for the in-house pharmacy of Narayani Sub Regional Hospital in Birgunj, Parsa.
A syndicate of private pharmacies has allegedly intervened to block the medicines procurement process for the in-house pharmacy of Narayani Sub Regional Hospital in Birgunj, Parsa.
The hospital administration had invited a tender to procure medicines for its pharmacy after the Ministry of Health released Rs 2 million to purchase medicines two months ago. However, the tender call was not responded by any party.
A hospital source said the Narayani chapter of Nepal Pharmaceutical Association (NPA) intervened to stop the procurement process by issuing a statement to medicines suppliers, asking them not to respond to the tender call. The statement was reportedly signed by Pappu Kumar Jha, the NPA genera secretary.
Ramesh Chaudhary, the hospital’s information officer, said the hospital was unable to purchase medicines because the tender call did not receive any response.
There are several private pharmacies on and around the hospital premises. These pharmacies are said to be run by the individuals who are close to the NPA and the members of the Hospital Development Employees’ Union. The source said by obstructing the supply of medicines to the hospital pharmacy, the privately-run pharmacies are making sure that their business is not ruined, because medicines are sold at much cheaper prices by hospital pharmacies.
Inside the hospital compound alone, there are at least a dozen private pharmacies. One hospital official said that these pharmacies are still operating even though their contract with the hospital has long expired. He added that the operators of these pharmacies were under protection of local political parties and the hospital administration had no power to evict them.
Medicine shortage in Jajarkot
JAJARKOT: Most of the health facilities in Jajarkot district are reeling under the shortage of essential medicines that the government has categorised as free-of-cost. Patients are compelled to pay for the otherwise free medicines at private pharmacies because of the shortage. A health worker said the District Health Office has not supplied the medicines for the last six months.. There are 30 health posts, three primary health centres and one hospital in Jajarkot. (PR)