Ariyalur Government Medical College Hospital owes us Rs 60L, allege surgical distributors
During the pandemic period in March 2022, the hospital was left with no choice but to approach private agencies after the TNMSC allegedly ran out of medicines.
ARIYALUR: Surgical equipment distributors from various districts allege that the Government Medical College Hospital is yet to pay them for supplies worth about Rs 60 lakh procured without tender during the Covid-19 pandemic. Our business has been hit due to the delay in payment, said the distributors.
The District Headquarters Government Hospital in Ariyalur, which was upgraded to a medical college hospital in February 2021, usually approaches the Tamil Nadu Medical Services Corporation (TNMSC) whenever in need of medicines.
With the establishment of the Government Medical College Hospital, a tender system wherein a limited tender is issued by the hospital dean to procure medicines from private agencies in case of non-availability came into effect on July 1, 2022.
During the pandemic period in March 2022, the hospital was left with no choice but to approach private agencies after the TNMSC allegedly ran out of medicines. Subsequently, a No Objection Certificate (NOC) was issued by the TNMSC, following which the hospital management procured medicines, surgical equipment and chemicals, including ET tubes, nebulizers, antibiotics (ceftriaxone, meropenem, piperacillin, Anawin heavy), streptokinase (cardiac) and testing kits, valued at about Rs 60 lakh from several private agencies between March 2022 and October 2022, sources said.
Over six months have passed by but the hospital management is yet to pay the surgical item distributors. Even though several petitions were filed with the medical college hospital dean, Health Minister Ma Subramanian at the directorate of medical education, the district collectorate and the chief minister's special cell, action is yet to be taken, rue distributors.
Dismayed, they even staged a protest with begging bowls on May 23. P Jeyachitra from Velan surgicals in Ariyalur said, "Not all medicines are always available with TNMSC. This is when the hospital procures medicines from us. Between March 2022 and October 2022, I supplied medicines worth Rs 32 lakh to the hospital. But they refuse to pay due to some reason.
This has affected our business. I am not able to purchase medicines, products and repay the bank loan. I could not file the GST. We approached many officials, but to no avail. The government should intervene and take action." P Johncy of the Amudhini surgicals in Virudhachalam said, "Usually we receive the purchase order with the knowledge of the hospital dean. I have supplied medicines worth Rs 14 lakh to the hospital. But the dean refuses to pay, saying we do not follow procedure code.
Even before March, we supplied medicines to the hospital and received the money for it. The dues should hence be paid immediately." When contacted, Dean Dr A Muthukrishnan told TNIE, "Distributors supplied medicines to the hospital without following procedure code. I have informed the Directorate of Medical Education about this. We will take action soon." Health Minister Ma Subramanian told TNIE, "I am not aware of the matter. I will look into it."