Acting on long-standing promises to improve the capital’s public health infrastructure, Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal announced on Monday shortage of medicines and consumables mentioned in the Essential Drug List (EDL) in the Delhi government hospitals. Taking on responsibility and accountability for a recurring problem in government hospitals Kejriwal told the press “From February 1, no patient will be told that the medicines are out of stock there. We will ensure 100 per cent availability of medicines and consumables as mentioned in the Essential Drug List (EDL) at the city hospitals”.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>He also called 2016 the year of of “health and education for Delhiites”. Health and education were two sectors in his annual budget, released in 2015, that had the maximum allotment of finances.The announcement came after meetings with Delhi government hospitals medical superintendents and chief medical officers.From February onwards the Central Procurement Agency will be in charge of acquiring essential drugs and making sure they are in stock in all hospitals under the government’s ambit. The government has also asked doctors for recommendations of new medicines to be included in the EDL.The anger at out of stock medicines had boiled over in mid-2015 when resident doctors of Delhi government hospitals had gone on strike. One of their demands was the lack of medicines on campus be addressed. Delhi health minister Satyendra Jain had later told dna that the problem was being solved by centralising the procurement procedure.The government also announced a new helpline that patients could call whenever they found medicines missing, and even their prescriptions across so that the medicines could be acquired.Kejriwal said these measure were to “remove the possibility of stock outs”. He also said they’d asked the medical superintendents to send a list of the medicines and consumables, whose stock is of less than 21 days, to the Central Procurement Agency. These goods would be stocked up by 26 January.In case of emergencies the superintendents can also purchase from locally empanelled chemists.
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