326421-medicine-1327404091-233-640x480The Delhi chief minister on Monday promised that all medicines prescribed by doctors at Delhi government hospitals would be available free of cost at the pharmacies from February 1.

The government will also ensure that all consumables such as gloves and gauze among others, apart from the chargeable consumables such as stents, are available free of cost.

“We do not want any patient to go out of the hospital because medicines are out of stock. This has been a problem and we are trying to streamline the processes so that medicines are always available in the hospital pharmacies,” said Arvind Kejriwal.

The CM has also requested all doctors in Delhi government hospitals to prescribe medicines only from the 406 essential medicines listed by the central procurement agency (CPA), plus, a few others suggested by the medical superintendant of the hospitals. “If new medicines come into the market or the doctors need to prescribe medicines which have not been listed, they can get it included in the list,” the CM said.

A helpline would also be launched from February 1 which people can use to inform about shoratge of medicines at a hospital.

“We are also trying to develop a system where if patients are unable to get a medicine at a hospital, they would be able to click a photograph of the prescription and Whatsapp it, we will provide him the medicines,” Kejriwal said.

The hospitals have been asked to maintain a three-month stock of all medicines and the CPA will also have a reserve for three months. And, if there is still a sudden crisis, emergency purchases can be made by the CPA or the medical superintendent of the hospitals.

“The hospitals have been instructed to provide a list of all the medicines for which the stock is less than 21 days,” Kejriwal said.

The government is also planning to remove user charges, charges for the OPD prescriptions and for various tests. “We will review all the costs and waiver certain user charges because the cost of collection is higher than the revenue earned,” the CM said.