April 8, 2018 04:30 AM NPT
By: GANESH BK
RUKUM, April 8: Locals in Rukum have been reeling under an acute shortage of medicines due to the lack of supply from the Regional Health Office. Even the local units have not paid much heed to this problem, leaving patients ailing in lack of treatment.
The District Public Health Office (DPHO) used to supply 70 types of medicines to the health posts for free but currently it does not have any of that, lament patients. This has compelled the patients to buy medicines from private medical stores paying high prices. Recently, Khim Bahadur Oli of Sanibheri-9, Hansiwang spent more than Rs 2,000 for medicines. "I had gone to the hospital for a check-up but I had to buy all the prescribed medicines from a private medical store," said Oli. Medicine crunch has especially affected the people of poor and marginalized communities.
"There is no medicine in the hospitals and we don't have money to buy medicines from private medical stores," said Manbir Nepali of Triveni-3. This has left many poor patients struggling with their illness.
Dr Shushil Pokharel, a doctor at the district hospital, said that the available medicines too will not last more than a week and there is no stock. "As of now, there is a confusion regarding who will purchase the medicines," said Pokharel, adding, "The patients, especially the poor ones, have been worst hit." Not only the district hospital but also almost all health posts of Rukum are dealing with medicine crunch at the moment.
Medicine stocks emptied almost a month ago. There is one district hospital, 41 health posts and two primary health centers in Rukum. The DPHO laments that the medicines haven't been supplied though the regional and central departments have been urged time and again for the same. According to the locals, free medicines have only been a myth for the poor people. Medicines worth Rs 4 million are consumed in the district in a month.
In a day, more than 100 patients visit the district hospital. "There is a crowd of patients and we don't have sufficient medicines for them and we won't have it till the next few months," said Sabin Pokhrel, acting chief of DPHO. According to him, the DPHO does not have all the rights regarding the purchase of medicines. "The budget required for buying medicines has been transferred to the local units," said Pokhrel.
Meanwhile, Debilal Gautam, mayor of Musikot Municipality said that a large amount of medicines was stolen from the DPHO. According to him, medicines were stolen on the 70th health service day. "We launched an investigation after hearing about the theft," said Mayor Gautam. He also said that stern action was taken against those involved in stealing the medicines meant for the poor.