Medicine crisis likely following new local level setup

Published On: August 12, 2017 08:23 AM NPT By: Krishna Oli

BAJURA, Aug 11: The new local level offices are for more convenience of the people. However, these offices are still in a mess due to the lack of infrastructures and policies. And this has affected government services in more than one ways. For instance, medicine procurement procedure has been delayed, say the officials concerned. According to Ramesh Kunwar, public health officer of Bajura, the delay is natural. 

“Earlier, there was a different set up. Now, the new set up is taking time to replace the previous one. Soon we are going to have a severe medicine crisis here,” he warned. 
According to Kunwar, the medicine stock will last only for a month while there are one primary health center and 27 health posts. Now, it is the local level which receives budget for buying medicines. 

“Every year, the process of buying medicines would start by the second week of Shrawan. But now, there is an utter confusion,” said Kunwar. “The country has adopted federalism. There are many local units. We are yet to hold elections in some areas. Everything is in a chaos,” he added. 

After the procurement process is started, it takes around 35 days to get the medicines. And then, few more weeks are needed for the distribution of the medicines to the health centers. Thus, even if the medicines are sent to the district right away, there will be at least one month drug crisis, Kunwar assesses.  

In the past, the district could buy 20 percent of medicines while 70 percent would be sent by the center and 10 percent by the regional office. But now the budget would be sent to the rural municipalities and municipalities directly.

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