Though the Jammu and Kashmir government has finalised the list of essential drugs to be distributed free of cost in government-run hospitals, the “governor’s administration” is yet to give its final nod for procuring the medicines and streamlining the hospitals in general.
After a long process spanning several years, Governor Narinder Nath Vohra has cleared the pending file to finalise the first-ever list of essential drugs for the state and now these medicines would be provided free of cost to all patients in the state-run hospitals. “But the final nod for procuring the medicines is yet to come owing to delay by bureaucrats,” a state health official said, adding that if the medicines reach the hospitals, it would really help in patient-care, especially the poor patients who cannot afford to buy these medicines from the market.
The file had remained struck for years and even after the state Cabinet approved it, there was no forward movement because of bureaucratic delay. The “governor’s administration” cleared the file and finalised the list of 1,200 essential medicines and now they would be available in the government hospitals free of cost. These drugs were selected by the State Drug Committee (SDC) and the list would be revised every two years, a government spokesman said.
The availability of essential medicines in government hospitals will benefit thousands of patients in the state, especially in the rural areas, a state health official said.
Earlier, Ajit Nagpal, chairman of the J&K Drug Formulary Committee, had told the media that the list of essential drugs is a comprehensive list of 1,200 essential medicines and region-specific and disease-specific drugs. The state government is yet to procure the essential list of medicines from the market for free distribution. Although state health officials said that it would be done soon, people associated with the exercise for the past several years said that it may take some time.