BENGALURU: Karnataka may well become the first state in the country to have Jan Aushadi centres in all government hospitals. With the Union Government planning to start such centres in all government hospitals across the country, Karnataka is likely to take the lead in taking up the initiative to make medicines available at affordable prices to more people.
Currently, under the Pradhan Mantri Bhartiya Janaushadhi Pariyojana (PMBJP), there are nearly 7,500 Jan Aushadi Kendras in the country, of which 850, accounting for over 10 per cent, are in Karnataka. The State Government is targeting to have 1,000 centres by end of this year. On an average, 20 new Kendras are being opened in Karnataka every month.
Bengaluru Urban district alone has 211 centres, followed by Dakshina Kannada with 76 centres. As on date, the state has recorded Rs 118 crore business from these centres for the year 2020-21. The government is hoping to touch Rs 125-130 crore turnover by the end of March 2021. The state will have main distribution centres at Bengaluru, Hubballi, one in Coastal Karnataka and also in Kalyana Karnataka. “Distribution of medicines to centres will be done from here,’’ said the sources.
Central govt plans awareness drive in March
Union Chemicals and Fertilizers Minister D V Sadananda Gowda is holding meetings with State Health Department officials and State Health Minister Dr K Sudhakar in the first week of March to discuss issues related to Jan Aushadi Kendras. “The State Government and Minister Sudhakar are also keen on starting Jan Aushadi Kendras in government hospitals. It will be done in a phased manner,’’ said sources in the minister’s office.
The Union Government is organising a special awareness drive in the first week of March across the country. Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Sadananda Gowda will also interact virtually with chemists and druggists of these Kendras.
Gowda insisted that doctors should advise patients to buy medicines from Jan Aushadi Kendras at affordable prices. As per a Union Government survey, 15-20 per cent of monthly household income is spent on medical expenditure. “In order to provide quality medicines at lesser cost, the government started Jan Aushadi Kendras. All these medicines are checked before procurement,” he added.