No need to gloat, J&K is the last state to provide Free Drugs

Jammu and Kashmir

JAMMU, March 12: Governor N N Vohra has approved `Free Drugs Policy’, which will be implemented in the State from June 1 and will provide free essential drugs to the patients at least up to the level of District Hospitals.

Under the `Free Drug Policy’, the Centre would contribute 33 per cent cost of the drugs while rest 67 per cent will be borne by the State Government. All States in the country have already implemented the Policy and Jammu and Kashmir today became the last State to implement it, which would go long way to benefit patients by providing them free essential drugs.

Meanwhile, the SAC also have nodded to adoption of ‘Free Drugs Policy’ for Jammu and Kashmir.

The Policy was part of Government of India’s Mission of ‘Health for All’ and was aimed at reducing expenditure of patients on healthcare. Though the Policy had been implemented in all the States, it was implemented in the State under the Governor’s Rule yesterday as previous Governments made no efforts to implement it though it was directly going to benefit the poor patients.

According to sources, the Government proposed to provide essential drugs to patients free of cost, at least up to the level of District Hospital.

If the drug(s) mentioned in the boards were not available in the hospital, the Incharge of the hospital would have to arrange that drug from the market – sources said, adding that the Health and Medical Education Department has estimated the costs for implementation of the Policy between Rs 35 crores to Rs 40 crores.

Health Department had earlier put in place a Drug Policy in the year 2012 which was based on the National List of Essential Medicines of India, 2011.


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