Balasore: The health department spends crores of rupees for free healthcare to patients under the National Rural Healthcare Mission (NRHM), but in many cases, patients remain deprived of the much-needed services at the district headquarters hospital here.
Niryamaya Yojana, a good step by the state government to ensure free medicine to poor patients, was launched May 1, 2015.
However, patients have to face a lot of problems in availing all medicines under the scheme at the district headquarters hospital.
Under Niramaya, about 570 types of medicines are supposed to be made available, but it is alleged that many medicines are not available at a counter on the premises of the district headquarters hospital.
When this Yojana was launched, three counters were opened on the DHH premises. Two of the counters have closed while one is running in a haphazard manner.
Patients and their kin dry their clothes at one counter while laundry services are provided from another counter.
Many patients alleged that two years and two months have passed since the Yojana was launched, but regrettably majority of medicines are not available. Patients have to face a lot of hardships.
Bikaram Murmu, the father of a patient from Kunta under Soro police limits, said some medicines are available here while many others and injections have to be purchased from private shops.
“We are daily wagers and poor. We have been facing a lot of problems in providing treatment to my son,” he added.
Sabitri Pal, a relative of a patient from Odiapada under Basta police limits, said some medicines are available for free of cost, but many medicines worth Rs 800 were purchased from private medicine stores.
“Even, we have to pay for the ECG and other pathological tests. The staffers are demanding Rs 200 in certain cases,” she rued.
Reports said only 200 types of medicines are available at the Niramaya counter.
Patients alleged medicines prescribed by doctors are not available at the counter, leaving poor patients frustrated.
It was learnt that some private medicine store owners have formed an unholy nexus with doctors, who prescribe medicines only available at their shops.
As per government guidelines, there is provision of making the lists of medicines and generic medicines available at the DHH, but this is not being followed here.
The health administration allegedly pays no heed to the problems. Besides, patients are deprived of various pathological services.
CDMO Dr Vivekananda Das said only one out of the three Niramays counters is operational and various medicines are provided to patients. PNN