All the major tertiary government hospitals in Hyderabad, districts and even healthcare facilities falling under the ESI Directorate (Employee State Insurance) are staring at the possibility of running short of life-saving drugs in the coming weeks, with Twin Cities Hospitals Suppliers Association (TCHSA) deciding to stop supplying drugs till their pending bills are cleared.

Since the starting of this year, the State government and even the ESI Directorate, which regulates ESI Hospitals in Hyderabad, has owed a staggering Rs 400 crore worth of pending bills to the members of TCHSA.

With multiple representations, submitted to the health department and other agencies for timely clearance of pending bills, falling to evoke response, the TCHSA, which has over 1500 members, for the past few weeks, has stopped supplying drugs to government hospitals and ESI Hospitals.

This year March, the TCHSA office bearers, including its president S Ramchand, during a media interaction, warned they would not be able to sustain their business model if authorities continue to delay releasing pending bills.

On Friday, the TCHSA

members said that the matter has now gone out of hands. “For the past two months, we have been urging the State government authorities and ESI officials to clear the pending bills. So far, nobody has given us any kind of assurances. We are not in a position to supply life-saving drugs,” said Girish Bhatt, senior drug distributor from Hyderabad.

While the supply of medicines to hospitals from TCHSA has stopped, senior officials familiar with the issue at Telangana Medical Services and Infrastructure Development Corporation (TGMSIDC) said that enough buffer stock of medicines is available with individual State-run tertiary hospitals that would last for at least next three to four months.

Superintendents and senior doctors at Osmania General Hospital (OGH), Gandhi Hospital, Fever Hospital, Niloufer Hospital and others in Hyderabad have maintained that at present there is adequate supply of medicines.

“We do have access to funds with Hospital Development Society (HDS) that fall directly under the jurisdiction of Superintendent who can independently procure medicines from other available sources,” health officials here have maintained.
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