Patients and their attendants at the Western Regional Hospital in Pokhara often become clueless where to get the prescribed medicines as pharmacy of one the most sought hospitals in the western Nepal has not come into function yet.
As the private pharmacies function on the Hospital premises were shut on July 17 and the most-crowded Hospital of the city could not open its own pharmacy, patients and their kin are at the receiving end.
Earlier, the Supreme Court had directed hospitals to operate their own pharmacies on the hospital premises from July 17 in response to a petition filed by the Consumers’ Interest Protection Forum. The Court had issued an interim order on June 28 and a mandamus on July 14 this year.
The Hospital Superintendent Shree Krishna Shrestha said it will take around three months to operate the pharmacy to comply with all legal procedures.
The pharmacy would not come into operation before the Dashain as it has to call for tenders, and the complete process is going to take around 45 days. The final list of required medicines is in the final state and the Hospital has already managed the essential drugs required for surgery and anesthesia, he added.
The Hospital has requested the Ministry of Health and Population to send the required human resources to manage the pharmacy within its premises.
Currently only 3 pharmacists have been managing the pharmacy whereas it requires at least 15 more pharmacists to run the store, Shrestha added. The Ministry has forwarded the file to the Ministry of Finance, but the file is pending there.
The official urged the Cabinet to ease the procedure of procurement of essential commodities like medicines.
More than 1,500 patients have been directly affected by the lack of pharmacy within the hospital premises.
The 350-bed hospital had provided OPD services to more than 450,000 patients in the last fiscal year. Patients from Gandaki and Dhauligari zones flock to this Regional Hospital for health services.