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GOVERNMENT OF INDIA
MINISTRY OF HEALTH AND FAMILY WELFARE
LOK SABHA
STARRED QUESTION NO: 298
ANSWERED ON:  12.07.2019
Shortage of Essential Medicines and Equipments
Sudheer Gupta
Gajanan Chandrakant Kirtikar
Will the Minister of



HEALTH AND FAMILY WELFARE be pleased to state:-


Will the Minister of HEALTH AND FAMILY WELFARE be pleased to state:

(a) whether the Government is aware that hospitals across the country, particularly Government hospitals are facing acute shortage of essential life saving medicines, injections and other medical equipments;

(b) if so, the details thereof and the steps taken by the Government to supply essential medicines to hospitals;

(c) whether this shortage is even worse in rural Primary Health Centres and Community Health Centres and has also led to death of many patients in the country;

(d) if so, the details thereof and the reasons therefor; and

(e) the corrective steps taken by the Government in this regard?



ANSWER
ANSWER
THE MINISTER OF HEALTH AND FAMILY WELFARE
(DR. HARSH VARDHAN)

(a) to (e): A statement is laid on the Table of the House







STATEMENT REFERRED TO IN REPLY TO LOK SABHA
STARRED QUESTION NO. 298* FOR 12TH JULY, 2019


(a) to (e) “Public Health and Hospitals” being a State subject, the primary responsibility of ensuring sufficient supply of essential life saving medicines, injections and other medical equipment in public health facilities including Primary Health Centres (PHCs) and Community Health Centres (CHCs) is that of respective State Governments.
To ensure availability of essential drugs and diagnostics and reduce the Out of Pocket Expenditure (OOPE) of the patients visiting the public health facilities, Government has rolled out the Free Essential Drugs Service Initiative (FDSI) and Free Diagnostics Service Initiative under National Health Mission (NHM).
Under this, financial support is provided to States / UTs for provision of medical equipment and free essential medicines in public health facilities based on the requirements posted by them in their Programme Implementation Plans (PIPs) within their overall resource envelope. This support includes for strengthening/setting up robust systems of procurement, quality assurance mechanism, warehousing, prescription audit, grievance redressal, dissemination of Standard Treatment Guidelines, and IT backed supply chain management systems like Drugs and Vaccines Distribution Management Systems (DVDMS).
All States/ UTs have reported that they have notified this policy to provide free essential medicines in public health facilities. The Ministry has also provided illustrative list of essential medicines that should be provided at Sub Centres, Primary Health Centres, Community Health Centres and District Hospitals. The list is available in public domain at nhsrcindia.org/sites/default/files/Facility wise essential Medicine 06 July-16.pdf. The list includes:

Name of the Facility No. of Medicines
Sub-Centre 57
Primary Health Centre 285
Community Health Centre 455
District Hospital 544




Drugs and Vaccines Distribution Management System (DVDMS) is a web-based Supply Chain Management System that deals in purchase, supply, distribution and inventory management of various drugs, sutures, surgical and consumable items. It has an in-built provision of monitoring and checking the availability of medicine at all facilities at district and state level. DVDMS links various Regional/ District Drug Warehouses (DWH), District Hospitals (DH), their sub stores like Community Health Centres (CHC) and Primary Health Centres (PHC). Moreover, it has the functionality for distribution of drugs to patients, thus enabling tracking of consumption till last mile.
National Health Policy, 2017 envisages a potentially achievable target of raising public health expenditure to 2.5% of GDP in a time bound manner by 2025 and out of this, two third will be allocated for the primary healthcare.
Towards achieving the above objective, 1.5 lakh Health Sub Centres and Primary Health Centres are being transformed into Health and Wellness Centres by December 2022 across the country under Ayushman Bharat (AB-HWCs) for provision of comprehensive primary care that includes preventive healthcare and health promotion at the community level with continuum of care approach.
The AB-HWCs will provide an expanded range of services to include care for non - communicable diseases, palliative and rehabilitative care, Oral, Eye and ENT care, mental health and first level care for emergencies and trauma as well as Health promotion and wellness activities like Yoga apart from services already being provided for Maternal and Child Health including immunization and communicable diseases. All these AB-HWCs will have the provision of free distribution of medicines to the patients visiting these public health facilities.
On the basis of the proposals received from all States/ UTs (except, UT of Delhi), so far, approvals for 52,744 Ayushman Bharat - Health and Wellness Centres (AB-HWCs) have been accorded. Out of those, as reported by the States/UTs, 19,567 AB-HWC are operationalized till 05th July, 2019. The state-wise list of operational AB-HWCs is at Annexure.

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