Jammu and Kashmir News
Srinagar: On the directions of the Director of Kashmir’s premier tertiary care hospital, Sher-i-Kashmir Institute of Medical Sciences (SKIMS), Dr. Showkat Zargar, the Chief Pharmacist, Rehaana Parveen’s appointment was confirmed after being indicted in a multi-crore Drug scam.
As per the order given on June 1 this year, a day before his retirement, Dr Zargar, the senior administrative officer of SKIMS, confirmed and regularized the two-year probation of chief pharmacist Rehana Parveen and said that the probation period of five official, including her, have been completed satisfactorily.
The pharmacist was charged in April this year by the SKIMS inquiry committee, which was probing the sale of expired drugs and variceal bands at the institute’s sale counter by the Drug and Pharmacy Department.
Previously in April this year, a woman had died at the hospital after expired surgical bands were put on her wounds. The family of the deceased had filed a police case against the SKIMS authorities. Subsequently, the hospital constituted a two-member inquiry committee, led by Assistant Professor of Hospital Administration, Dr Haroon Rashid and Additional Professor General Surgery, Dr Rauf Ahmad Wani, to probe the allegations.
The panel submitted the inquiry report on April 5 that revealed that the chief pharmacist, Rehana Parveen, had on October 21, 2015, ordered re-sterilization of 370 variceal bands, some of which had expired since July and other were expiring in November and December 2015.
The Central Sterilization Supply Department after sterilizing the bands returned them to the Pharmacy Department with instructions written by hand on them that read ‘use before October 2017′. The report established that the order for sterilization and sale of the expired bands were given by Rehana Parveen without informing the higher authorities. It also stated that average utilization of variceal band for 2014 and 2015 was 110 per year.
However, the chief pharmacist without any written request from the user department ordered purchase of 750 bands i.e. approximately five times more than the yearly requirement. Due to a nexus between pharmaceutical suppliers and the heads of some departments in SKIMS, expired and discarded medicine worth Rs 2.5 crore in 2014-2015 had been stocked up.
The company whose tenders are approved to supply drugs to the hospital, supply the same drugs to a private sale counter inside SKIMS too. As a result, there were two identical supplies — one of the hospital and another one private — that were available in the hospital at the same price. However, the patients were sold the ones from the private whereas the hospital supply were left unattended, left to expire.
The Acting Director, SKIMS, Dr MK Bandari mentioned that the matter will be looked into again and that he would go through the service rules under which the chief pharmacist had been confirmed by the SKIMS authorities.