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Government Of Assam Sonitpur District

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Health Services
Health Schemes

Free Drugs Service

One of the stellar initiatives in the health sector launched by the Government of India during the year 2013-14 is the “National Health Mission – Free Drug Service”. It is aimed at providing effective healthcare support to the needy and giving them access to essential medicines free of cost at Government Health Institutions and Hospitals.

Over the years, cost of healthcare in the country has gone up significantly putting tremendous strain on the public, particularly the rural populace. In order to ease the financial burden of the common people seeking relief from various ailments, National Health Mission Assam has implemented the scheme of providing essential drugs & surgicals free of cost at all Government Health Institutions. Now in accordance with General ailments, NHM, Assam has also being committed for taking care of their patient from the life threatening diseases like cancer, hemophilia, neonatal, thelesemia, neurological, cardiological, nephrological disorders etc.

The essential drugs are procured in generic form and provided free of cost to all OPD and IPD patients in Government hospitals in Assam. It would be relevant to state that OPD and IPD patients numbered 2,45,51,877 (till December) and 9,07,555 (till December) respectively during the last financial year 2016-17. Both the Central and State Government provide budgetary support for this initiative of providing essential drugs free of cost to patients visiting Government hospitals.

In view of Sustainable Development Goals of GoI to achieve universal health coverage, including financial risk protection, access to quality essential health-care services and access to safe, effective, quality and affordable essential medicines and vaccines for all categories of patient , Assam State has notified the modified Essential Drugs List (EDL) where nos. of free drugs has been increased from 238 to 731 (as per strength & dosage form 731 against 407 category) to treat communicable and non-communicable diseases with a broader view to ease the all financial burden of the common people seeking relief from various ailments as well as those diseases where the drug-treatment therapy is found too costly for a BPL as well as APL family. Hence, Government of Assam had implemented the scheme of providing essential drugs & surgicals almost of all categories free of cost at all Government Health Institutions including PHC/CHC/DH/Medical colleges spread over 27 districts of the State and a new EDL has been notified taking the standard of National Essential Drug List (NELM).

1) Essential Drug List (EDL)

The State has its own Essential Drugs List (EDL) on the basis of which procurement action is taken. The facility wise details of the EDL notified by the Govt. of Assam on 05.09.2016 are as under:

Primary Care Hospital (PHC/CHC)

348  items

Secondary Care Hospital (District Hospital/Model Hospital/Sub divisional Civil Hospital)

577 items

Tertiary Care Hospital (Medical College)

731 items

Sub Centre

26 items

2) Drugs Monitoring System

Recently CDAC has signed MoA for taking care of the total drugs-supply chain management of the state including district drug store to peripheral hospitals.

NHM Assam also has developed its own on-line Drugs Stock Monitoring System for management of essential drugs. The District Drugs Stores Manager collates drugs stock from the peripheral health institutions each week and uploads the same in the system, which can be viewed at State and District level.

The online Drugs Stock Monitoring System serves the limited purpose of ascertaining stock position of various drugs in different health institutions and for initiating action for replenishing stocks as and when needed. Action is taken at state level for replenishment of stock either through fresh infusion or through diversion of stock from a location with a surplus to a location with a deficit. The status of availability of stock of essential medicines at different health institutions is in the public domain and can be accessed through a link provided in the official website of NHM Assam.