Manmeet Singh Gill
Tribune News Service
Amritsar, May 31
The all-day long protest by chemists and druggists had left patients and their attendants high and dry, as they failed to find medicines prescribed to them from the market.
Though the government-run Jan Aushadhi stores and pharmacies dispensed medicines, as these outlets do not stock a wide array of medicines prescribed by doctors, general patients also faced trouble at these stores.
City residents demanded that the government should learn a lesson from the result of the strike and make such arrangements so that health services are not crippled in future.
“The government needs to take some steps. Otherwise, chemists could affect services at any time in future,” said Ranjit Singh of Rani Ka Bagh area avenue.
The protest call by the All-India Organisation of Chemists and Druggists this time was so effective that none of the chemists opened their shops even late in the night. It was only in the morning that the shops were opened and medicines were made available to the patients.
The patients could not get all medicines prescribed by the government doctors at the government hospitals as the Jan Aushadhi stores have a restricted list of medicines. “As doctors prescribe medicines based on the need of the patients, sometimes most of them have to purchase from the open market,” said Kulwant Singh, another resident.
The chemist association members stated that they were forced to protest as the government had ignored all memorandums given by their leaders.
Civil Surgeon Dr Pradeep Chawla said, “We had consulted the association representatives on this issue and they had accepted they would not force closure of medicine shops inside the nursing homes. Most of the nursing homes have their own stores.” He said the essential medicines were usually available at the hospitals. However, he added that the general OPD patients had faced problem, but it is the state government which can make such pre-emptive arrangements.