Opening of pharmacies inside govt hospital premises is ‘Okay’, no scam or collusion involved : Committee report

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Jammu — The 3-Member Inquiry Committee comprising Commissioner/Secretary, Health & Medical Education, Dr M K Bhandari as Chairman, Director Finance, H&ME, Zahoor Ahmed and Additional Secretary H&ME, K.S. Chib as Members, constituted by the Government to look into the aspects related to the allotment of 55 shops in the Government Hospitals in Jammu province has submitted its detailed findings.

 

No discrepancies were found as alleged or as feared

The Committee has examined various aspects related to the allotment of tender for establishing Pharmacies inside the premises of government health institutions across the Jammu province and has found that the entire exercise of allotment of tenders has been carried out by the competent authority as per the established norms and did not find any merit in the objections raised by the J&K Chemists and Druggists Association against the process.

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J&K Chemists and Druggists Association had announced ‘hartal’

Earlier in the first week of Feb 2017, drug shops in Jammu observed a 72-hour strike to protest against the state government’s decision to allow non-state subjects to run medical centres in hospitals. Seeking probe in allotting 57 medical shops to a Delhi based firm ‘Sanyog Enterprises Pvt. Ltd,’ the Jammu based chemists demanded the govt to roll back its decision.

Jammu Chamber of Commerce and Industries (JCCI) president Rakesh Gupta had told the media persons, “The J&K Medical Supplies Council went further with malafide intention of accommodating non-state subjects to run chain of shops without any demand for running of 24*7 chemist shops as already many outlets have been provided by the government inside the government hospitals,” Gupta said.

“We feel this was purely done in lieu of exchange for favours and we see it as an attempt of a larger plan by few government officers and politicians to eliminate the entrepreneurs who have not sought any aid from the government,” he had said.

The JCCI president appealed to the government to intervene and maintain the status-quo as the matter is subjudice.

 

Establishment of enquiry committee

The Inquiry Committee was constituted by the Government in the backdrop of 3-day bandh call given by the J&K Chemists and Druggists Association, Jammu in the first week of February, 2017 against the establishment of these shops in the government health institutions and had raised several objections to this effect and had called for an inquiry in the tendering process.

 

The Inquiry Committee has in its report, accepted by the Government, observed that the decision of establishing the Pharmacies in the premises of the government health institutions was unanimously taken in a meeting chaired by the then Minister for Health & Medical Education on 25-10-2015 and the task of tendering process for these shops was assigned to JKMSCL (Jammu and Kashmir Medical Supplies Corporation Ltd).

 

The decision was also aimed at generating revenue for improving the maintenance in health institutions from the sanitation perspective by outsourcing such activities, apart from providing quality medicines to the patients in the peripheral institutions as well.

 

Transparent tendering process

The JKMSCL adopted the open tendering process in a transparent manner as per norms. The tender documents were issued by the JKMSCL as e-bid to invite maximum bid with a view to generate maximum revenue for the government which will be utilized for improving the health care in the government institutions.

 

The company M/S Sanyog Enterprises is qualified company in terms of the technical bid and the eligibility criteria for the tender of opening and running 24×7 Pharmacy shops and only on the basis of that, it declared qualified and successful after being the highest bidder at the financial bid stage. The company is required to provide a minimum of 10 per cent discount on the MRP and will also ensure providing over 400 drugs on the rates of Jan Aushadhi Scheme (which is 30-40 per cent less than market rate), the report states.

 

The results of the inquiry committee implies that the govt. Should be optimistic in its effort to run new medical shops across the govt. hospitals. It comes as a benefit for the respected citizens of the state as these 24×7 operational medical shops offer drugs at subsidized prices according to the norms of the govt implemented schemes. Moreover, any new initiative taken in future will be immediately reflected via these shops which will again provide timely benefit to the people