The health sector in J&K is expecting an overhaul, with health authorities proposing to introduce online pharmacy in all hospitals in the state to ensure transparency and accountability during the distribution of drugs to patients.
A senior official in the health department Tuesday said the drug stores which sell only generic medicines will be made available at all tertiary hospitals and district hospitals.
“Use of e-pharmacy will be introduced in every hospital so that distribution of drugs to patients becomes clear and to maintain accountability,” reads the health policy drafted under the chairmanship of Director General of Health Services, Kashmir, Dr Saleem ur Rehman.
He said the generic drug use will also be made mandatory with immediate effect in the hospitals.
“This will stop a lot of corruption in the health system. At the same time out-of-pocket expenditure on drugs will be reduced drastically,” said Rehman.
There have been many episodes in past wherein drugs of hospital supplies were found sold illegally and at the residence of employees.
Four days ago, locals in Gogaldara Baramulla spotted a fresh hospital supply of medicines worth lakhs dumped on the bank of a stream in the nearby forests.
The draft advocates to introduce e-governance systems that interconnect all licensing and registration offices and laboratories, GPS based sample collection systems and online applications for licensing.
In December last year, illegal drugs were recovered from health official’s residence in Bandipora. The official had hoarded the government supply drugs in his house.
However, the upcoming policy has suggested a web-based tracking system which will enable a transparent system of tracking sufficient stocks of medicines for use by people.
“Use of generic names or the International Non-proprietary Name (INN) will be made compulsory and will also be encouraged at all stages of government procurement, distribution, prescription and usage,” the draft has recommended.
It said the clinical practice guidelines are intended to optimize patient care.
“The Standard Treatment Guidelines will be prepared as a tool to assist and guide physicians and other healthcare staff in providing quality care to patients,” it has envisaged.
The guidelines will be made for physicians, surgeons, and other stakeholders to list the preferred treatments for common health problems experienced by the people.
“The widespread use of STP will do away with the difference between public and private providers as well as the difference between different tiers of healthcare delivery system,” the draft has noted.
It said that the heads of all medical specialties along with respective principals and heads of the department in each medical college shall develop guidelines for Good Clinical Practices and Good Laboratory Practices.
“The prescription written by a registered medical practitioner shall be audited and regular reports submitted to competent authority by Department of Pharmacology, GMCs to discourage unnecessary prescription of drugs,” it said.
There has been increasing antimicrobial resistance cases which is a huge problem because of the irrational use of antibiotics by physicians and self-medication by individuals and its use in animals and poultry.
“There is a need for increased education and awareness about antimicrobial resistance among the public and health-care professionals. The state needs to develop and improve the surveillance for the same,” the policy draft has mentioned.
In the month of March this year, the health department constituted a committee headed by the director general health services for framing the policy in the state.