Yet again, the Regional Cancer Centre (RCC) in Thiruvananthapuram is facing a drug shortage crisis. According to reports, the Kerala Medical Services Corporation Ltd (KMSCL) is yet to deliver medicines despite Kerala Health Minister KK Shailaja's instructions.
Due to the short supply of medicines, patients are worried as some of them cannot afford to purchase expensive medicines from outside. These patients are also concerned that their treatment could stop if they cannot avail these expensive medicines. However, the KMSCL informed that they delivered essential medicines and the rest would be delivered to the RCC soon.
The short supply of drugs for chemotherapy means that patients undergoing the procedure would have no other option but to purchase the medicines for high prices from outside. With the hospital stay and medical expenses, buying expensive drugs from outside would put a big hole in the patient's pocket.
A similar problem arose at the RCC earlier in January. The situation of many patients, including children, was quite bad due to the shortage of drugs. Chemotherapy procedures in the hospital had to stop due to the short supply of medicines. The patient's family would have to pay nearly Rs 5,000 to Rs 20,000 to buy medicines from outside.
In January, RCC explained that the problem is due to the KMSCL’s irresponsibility to procure medicines. On the other hand, according to the Medical Corporation, the delay in purchasing the medicine was due to the non-cooperation of the RCC.
Reportedly, the RCC officials admitted that there was a severe shortage of medicines in the hospital in January. According to the Medical Corporation, a government order allows the RCC to procure medicines locally in case of emergencies. Though the Health Minister intervened, nothing happened and no action was taken.