BHUBANESWAR: The Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) has pulled up the State Government for administering time barred medicines to patients.
Scrutiny of records revealed that 31 types of expired medicines were administered during 2007-13 to patients in four out of the eight test checked districts, the CAG report on General and Social sector for 2013 tabled in the Assembly on Monday said.
The four districts are Cuttack, Jajpur, Mayurbhanj and Sundargarh. The expired medicines included tablets and injection vials.
The explanation offered by the medical officers concerned is more shocking. They said expired medicines were used due to excessive supply of drugs lying in stocks, non-recording of batch number and expiry date of medicines in stock registers and receipt of short life span drugs.
Responding to the CAG report, Minister of State for Health and Family Welfare Atanu Sabyasachi Nayak said the matter is being probed by a special cell of the Health Department. The problem will be sorted out once the Medical Corporation becomes fully operational.
The report further pointed out that many essential drugs were not available in sampled district headquarters hospitals (DHHs), community health centres (CHCs) and public health centres (PHCs). The aim of ensuring better health care to villagers through National Rural Health Mission (NRHM) has remained ‘largely unfulfilled’ in the State, the audit said.
Stating that planning was deficient due to non-preparation of perspective plans and annual action plans at State, district and block levels, the audit said District Health Action Plan was prepared for only four out of 30 districts.
Though Maternal Mortality Rate (MMR) was reduced from 303 in 2007-08 to 237 in 2011-12, the same was above the national average. Similarly, Infant Mortality Rate (IMR) was reduced from 71 to 57 against the national average of 55 to 44 during 2007-12, the report stated.
Despite the trend of institutional deliveries in the State, the situation was not satisfactory in Koraput, Nabarangpur and Kalahandi districts where it remained between 13 and 64 per cent, it stated. Delivery of health care was affected due to absence of required health institutions as per Indian Public Health Standards (IPHS) norms, it stated adding there was shortage of 3,284 Sub Health Centres (SHCs) (33 per cent) and 370 PHCs (23 per cent).
Against IPHS norms for posting of 10,594 doctors in the State, 5,077 doctors were sanctioned and 3,435 (32 per cent) were in position as of March 2013, the audit said adding though 1,075 specialists under 17 categories were essential for DHHs, only 603 specialists were available.
Similarly, as against requirement of 20,064 health workers for SHCs in the State, 10,914 (54 per cent) were in position. No staff nurse and lab technician (LT) were posted despite stipulation in IPHS to post five staff nurses and two LTs at each PHC, the report said.