BHUBANESWAR:Odisha Government is all set to roll out the much-awaited free drug distribution scheme by the end of this month.
Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik would launch the scheme that entails provisioning of all prescribed drugs free of cost to patients right from tertiary care centres and medical colleges down to PHCs across the State, Health and Family Welfare Minister Atanu Sabyasachi Nayak said.
The scheme would also formalise full-fledged operations of Odisha State Medical Service Corporation (OSMC), the independent agency set up by the Government for drug procurement, management, supply and storage.
The Government would be providing as many as 570 drugs and formulation covering a whole range of diseases including some highly expensive ones for cancer to patients free of cost. The Essential Drugs List (EDL) is also planned to be further expanded to make it more comprehensive in the coming days, Nayak said.
“However, the objective can be achieved only if patients actually get the drugs free of cost. We have called upon doctors at every Government hospital to take up the responsibility of prescribing drugs as per the scheme and also ensure that patients get them,” the Minister said.
Infrastructure required for smooth implementation of the scheme like drug warehouses and storehouses along with drug distribution centres (DDCs) have been established at most hospitals. While 38 central drug warehouses of 10,000 sq ft area have been set up in three medical colleges and all district headquarters hospitals (DHHs), work on establishing 5,000 sq ft utilities at sub-divisional hospitals is almost ready.
Storehouses of 1000 sq ft will be set up in all 314 blocks from where the drugs would be supplied to the DDCs of the PHCs. “Around 122 of them are complete and the rest would be ready within this fiscal. As many as 1102 distribution counters are being established for effective distribution of the drugs to patients,” general manager, OSMC Bijay Swain said.