Chandigarh: While AIIMS Delhi has a generic shop inside the hospital that provides free medicines to all patients, there is not a single such shop in the city, revealed an RTI reply.
According to RTI reply, there are no private drug stores inside the AIIMS campus. On the contrary, the Postgraduate Institute of Medical Education and Research (PGI)’s emergency shop’s rental is Rs 6.7 lakh a day while new shops in Chandigarh’s civil hospitals, which will become operational, are also not free medicine shops. UT health secretary Yashpal Garg said the administration needs to earn revenue. “The revenue of the government needs to be protected, which is ultimately used for public welfare,” said Garg.
Both the AIIMS and PGI have been declared by an Act of Parliament as Institutes of National Importance and governed by the same rules. There are two Jan Aushadi shops in the PGI, which are offered on free rental by the hospital. However, the medicines are only highly subsidised not provided free of cost. There are seven Amrit shops in the PGI with rental fee of Rs 2.22 lakh and Rs 40,000 per month. “If AIIMS can have free generics shops in the campus and has not allowed any private chemist shop inside, why is this not the case in PGI and other hospitals in the city?” said a senior faculty in PGI. He said, “The fallout of the high rentals is on the patients as they get substandard medicines as happened with Propofol, which was bought from the chemist whose rental in the emergency is Rs 6.7 lakh per day.”
According to the RTI information provided to Prince Bhadula, a Sector 22-based Chandigarh resident (a copy of which is with the TOI), there are three chemist shops within the premises of the AIIMS. This includes one free generic pharmacy and two Amrit Pharmacies. “The free generic pharmacy is providing medicines to the patients free of cost and Amrit pharmacy is providing the medicines after 60% discounts,” mentioned the RTI.
On the rental provided to the AIIMS, Amrit drug store is on 1% revenue sharing, while the free generic is free of cost. “These shops were established according to the directions of the ministry of health and family welfare,” mentioned the RTI.