Odisha chief minister Naveen Patnaik launched a new scheme ‘Niramaya’ to provide free medicines to patients in all government hospitals in the state from May 1.
Naveen, after the launching the initiative, announced that by the end of this year medicines for diseases such as cancer, haemophilia, thalassemia, sickle cell anaemia would be available free of cost.
The Rs 200 crore free medicine distribution scheme will initially be available with the three government-run medical colleges, district headquarters hospitals, tertiary care centres, regional diagnostics centres, community health centres and later percolate down to the primary health centres and sub-centres.
The chief minister also inaugurated the corporate office of the Odisha State Medical Corporation Limited (OSMCL), a state government undertaking, to manage the free drug distribution scheme and its central warehouse near Ram Mandir Square.
Besides, through the OSMC, the government will gradually establish basic minimum diagnostics at different levels of health care and by the end of this year and basic minimum free diagnostics would be available at various health facilities, the Chief Minister stated.
Health and family welfare minister Atanu Sabyasachi Nayak spoke about several government initiatives. He stressed on the Rs 500 crore grant for the upgrade of the health care infrastructures in the state.
Nayak urged the doctors to help all patients and prescribe right medicines as the prescription audits will be carried out for efficient running of the medicine distribution mechanism through OSMCL.
Chief secretary Gokul Chandra Pati called upon the medical fraternity to strictly prescribe only generic drugs for common patients. He also asked the OSMCL authorities to ensure an efficient supply chain mechanism for generics.
Drug Distribution Counters will be set up in the medical colleges,district headquarter hospitals, CHCs, SDHs for dispensing medicines to patients.
Besides, 598 additional posts of pharmacists have been created at district levels for smooth management of the scheme.
Every prescription given by doctors shall be scanned and kept for records and prescription audit. The OSMC shall set the highest standards for quality maintenance so as to provide safe medicines to the people.