Even though the Drug Control Cell (DCC) of the Department of Ayush (DoA) under the Union ministry of health had arranged a comprehensive list of essential drugs (EDL) for acquisition of drugs for each hospital under Ayush streams, the list does not any takers under the Indian systems in Tamil Nadu, it is learnt.
Furthermore, the EDL hardly finds any significance among the authorities, which is evident from that fact that even 10% of the total number of the listed drugs isn’t supplied to the peripheral by the government.
The EDL was published in 2013, and it was an initiative from the previous Ayush department to give a guiding tool to the acquisition agencies to fulfill the supply of Siddha medicines in all dispensaries, PHCs, and hospitals.
Although the state department of health makes tall claims of providing all drugs free of cost to the patients, the 450 Siddha hospitals, and 300 NRHM centers have around 20 medicines, which is less than 10% of the total number of drugs recorded in the EDL. The list contains 302 medications, which are required for every one of the pharmacies to stock dependably.
“All the Siddha hospitals in their pharmacies have less than 10% of the listed medicines available. No hospital has the adequate number of essential drugs prescribed under the Essential Drug List, the same situation is in the two medical colleges also “, said a senior Siddha medical officer working in Madurai.
Since Siddha system under the Ayush streams dominates in Tamil Nadu and the most of the traditional health centers are for the same category, the essential drug list of Siddha assumes significance for the most part in Tamil Nadu.
The EDL was drafted by specialists from Tamil Nadu and the individuals who participated in the discussion while preparing the list were also from the state only. As indicated by sources, there is no only healthy undertaking from the state Department of Indian Systems of Medicine in Chennai to streamline drug supplies in the Siddha hospitals which are all facing acute shortage of drugs.
The government agency to supply medicines to public health centers is Tamil Nadu Medicinal Plant Farms and Herbal Medicine Corporation Limited (TAMPCOL), but its inventory has the stock of around 50 medicines, and that too occasionally.
It is claimed by stakeholders that no useful effort is taken by the experts for a smooth acquisition and supply of pharmaceuticals according to the medication list prepared by the central Ayush department. The government used to allot Rs.5 lakh for each quarter to buy medicines from TAMPCOL for a district hospital.
However, a year ago, the amount was reduced to Rs.90,000. So, it is unable to give the minimum number of medications to the patients visiting each hospital. One district hospital normally gets 2,000 patients in the OP ward, he said.