Cuttack: The authorities of Sriram Chandra Bhanja Medical College and Hospital (SCBMCH) have urged the state government to allocate Rs 42.52 crore to the premier healthcare institute for providing free treatment and medicines to patients under Biju Swasthya Kalyan Yojana (BSKY).
Earlier, the hospital authorities were collecting users’ fees from patients to provide various healthcare facilities. However, collection of users’ fee at SCBMCH was stopped after the state government directed the hospital to provide free healthcare to people under the BSKY.
According to sources, the hospital authorities have tied up with four private drugstores for supply of essential drugs to SCBMCH. However, the authorities have failed to provide a single rupee to the drugstores in the last four months. “The hospital authorities owe Rs 7.63 crore to the four drugstores. They have not cleared the dues of the drugstores since March, this year,” said the owner of a drugstore on conditions of anonymity.
It is learnt that the authorities of SCBMCH have sought Rs 30.52 crore from the state government to source drugs from the four drugstores in the current financial year. Besides, they require a fund of Rs 12 crore to procure medicines and other essential items for the central store of SCBMCH.
Though the authorities of SCBMCH have sought crores of rupees from the government to provide free healthcare, many patients and attendants alleged that the Niramaya outlets in the hospital premises lack several essential drugs. “These Niramaya stores are supposed to provide generic drugs to people. But these stores do not have many essential drugs. I was suffering from certain complications in my neck. A doctor at the Medicine department had prescribed five drugs. But, I could get only one drug from the Niramaya outlet,” said Manoranjan Singh of Jajpur.
Echoing the same, Narayan Mohanty from Kendrapara said, “I have been visiting the Nephrology department of SCBMCH to consult doctors for some complications. I could not find the prescribed drugs at the Niramaya centres.”
Alok Bhuinya, a patient from Salipur area, too claimed that the Casualty ward of SCBMCH lacks some basic items like plasters for the treatment of bone fractures. “This free healthcare scheme is just eyewash,” he alleged.
SCBMCH superintendent CBK Mohanty, however, refuted the allegations. “The Niramaya centres have enough drugs. There may be shortage of one or two drugs. We are providing free healthcare to people under the BSKY. We have urged the government to provide the required funds,” Mohanty said.