Even as the Shiv Sena hopes to occupy the chief minister’s chair after the assembly elections, leaders of its civic workers’ union are warning that a shortage of essential medicines at municipal hospitals could hurt its assembly poll prospects in the city.
What is the problem?
The Municipal Karmachari Kamgar Sena has in a lettter to newly-elected mayor Snehal Ambekar stated that there is a serious shortage of medicines at various hospitals run by the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC).
The problem has been going on for nearly a month and is said to be particularly severe at Lokmanya Tilak hospital, Sion. The other major civic hospitals are KEM and Nair. The BMC also has 16 peripheral hospitals.
Who are the people affected?
As a result, the families of patients being treated here have to purchase the medicines required from private chemists outside the hospitals. It points out that this is causing resentment among people.
Most of those treated at municipal hospitals are from the lower income group, which is the constituency of the Shiv Sena. The Sena in alliance with the BJP rules the BMC.
Which are the drugs in short supply?
Among the medicines in short supply at the hospitals are dextrose, ringer lactate, efcorlin, aldomet, pantoprazole, amikacin and saline.
Sunil Chitnis, executive president of the union, said, “There is a shortage of essential medicines and scheduled drugs at hospitals. According to a zero prescription circular from senior municipal authorities, no patient should be impelled to buy medicines from outside. However, now people are being made to spend money from their pockets.”
Shortage of other materials too?
Chitnis said that there was also a shortage of garbage bags. “I had written to additional municipal commissioner Sanjay Deshmukh also in this regard, but I have received no response,” he said.
Deshmukh heads the health department. He could not be reached for his comment.