SHILLONG | May 01, 2019:
Trouble is brewing in the region’s premier medical institute — the North Eastern Indira Gandhi Regional Institute of Health and Medical Sciences (NEIGRIHMS) yet again, with the administration at loggerheads with the Cardiology department over pacemakers and stents.
Services in the Cardiology department was reportedly shutdown since Tuesday following a disagreement over the purchase of stents/pacemakers between the Director, Dr DM Thappa and HoD of Cardio deptt, Dr Animesh Mishra.
The administration has accused the Cardio HoD of by-passing the advisory issued by Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, Govt of India recently informing patients to get the costly items from Amrit pharmacy rather than from outside vendors at a higher cost.
In a letter issued to the media on Wednesday, NEIGRIHMS PRO informed that there were two complaints from PMO Office to Ministry of Health and Family Welfare forwarded to NEIGRIHMS regarding high price Cardiology patients have to pay to get treatment in NEIGRIHMS due to high cost price of stents, which the patients purchase from some local vendors.
“A committee was formed by Director, NEIGRIHMS to get the requirements from various departments so that the stents/pacemakers costly drugs and disposable could be made available through revolving fund or Amrit pharmacy,” read the clarification letter.
It was, however, reported that due to lack of co-operation by the HoD Cardiology, the list could not be finalised.
It was alleged that instead of approaching the administration to solve problems pertaining to expensive medical items, “the department preferred to make patients purchase costly stents and pacemakers from a vendor from outside the hospital at a very high cost,” alleged the administration.
The administration has further accused that the vendor, in connivance with the HoD Cardiology, used to deliver stents in the morning to the Cath Lab and sell to the patients on the advice of the cardiologists on the day of the procedure at a very high cost, despite the capping of rates by the Ministry.
The problem started since yesterday when the the Director, during his hospital round, found a vendor carrying four bags full of stents/pacemakers heading towards Cath Lab. The supplies were later seized by the administration.
The authorities further alleged the Cardiology HoD of exploiting the patient care services by denying treatment to the poor patients since yesterday besides inciting the patients against administration of the institution.
Meanwhile, the Cardiology HoD, Dr Animesh Mishra has denied all allegations and directed the blame on the Director stating that it was Dr Thappa who stopped the health care services, not the department.
It was informed that the administration has also confiscated the register of Cardiology department.
“When we tried to approach the Director seeking continuation of services in the Cath Lab, he refused and said ‘I am the head of the institution, i will decide’,” Dr Mishra told The Northeast Today on Wednesday.
Reacting to the allegations leveled against him, Dr Mishra said “Provide me with proofs and factual documents to substantiate the claim that I am in connivance with a private vendor.”
When asked about the advisory of the Health Ministry, Dr Mishra said that only the Director can answer the question relating to the medical items made available in the Amrit Pharmacy.
A doctor, in condition of anonymity, said that the administration does not know what it is doing. “It directs patients to purchase medicines from the Amrit pharmacy but fails to make those medicines available. During emergencies, patients do not have 48 hours to wait for Amrit pharmacy to order the required medical items, the same has to be purchased from outside,” said the doctor.
The doctor said this is not the first time that the department has been “bulldozed” by the administration. He said “The Director has always had a problem with the Cardiology department.”