PATNA: Claiming that there was shortage of medicine in state government hospitals, the BJP today alleged that health department officials have developed cold feet to float tender to procure required medicines to avoid being caught in any wrongdoing.
The stock of medicine in government hospitals has run short much to the woes of patients and their families who have to purchase prescribed drugs from outside, senior BJP leader and former deputy chief minister Sushil Kumar Modi said.
Though the medicine shortage has become alarming, the Bihar Medical Services and Infrastructure Corporation Ltd (BIMSCL) has stopped purchasing medicines since June 6 this year after expose of a scam committed by it, Modi claimed in a statement.
The BIMSCL is the sole procurement and distribution agency of drugs and equipment for all establishments under the state's department of health.
The health department has sanctioned Rs 66 crore for purchase of medicine to meet requirement in hospitals, but civil surgeons have developed cold feet to float tender in this regard lest they be caught in any scam, Modi claimed.
Slamming the state government for not making public the probe reports on "large scale irregularities" in purchase of medicine by BIMSCL last year, Modi said the ruling JD(U) was
scared that publication of the reports would bring it to disrepute in the run upto the Assembly polls next year. The BJP leader alleged that the state government did not take action against officials involved in the medicine purchase scam as they were close to the ruling party.
He claimed the state government buckled under pressure from the builders' lobby to suspend the 'honest' Patna Municipal Commissioner Kuldeep Narayan, but it could not take any action against the BIMSCL officials involved in the scam.
Pressing for lodging an FIR in the medicine purchase scam and publication of an action taken report, he said the BJP would not let the state government get away by merely taking action against junior officials.
Modi said the party would raise the issue during the winter session of the state legislature beginning next week and persist with its demand for a CBI probe in the matter.