Directorate ISM overlapping central sponsored scheme

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SRINAGAR: Directorate Indian Science of Medicine (ISM) in Kashmir has been violating the guidelines of Union Health Ministry and is reportedly overlapping the centrally sponsored scheme Rashtriya Bal Swasthya Karyakram (RBSK) by organizing medical camps in different schools in rural areas.

Rashtriya Bal Swasthya Karyakram (RBSK) was an imitative launched by Indian government in different states including Jammu and Kashmir in 2014 and under this scheme, National Rural Health Mission (NRHM) staff frequently visit different government and private schools for the purpose of health check-up of students.

Ironically, the ISM doctors have started overlapping this scheme and instead of supplying medicines to different dispensaries, the Directorate of ISM have started organizing medical camps in various schools. 

CNS reports that most of the ISM institutions in Kashmir Valley are without drugs since 2014. “In 2014 the annual drug supplies were in a flimsy manner shown consumed in post flood camps. It is not the case that drugs are not being purchased. The substandard drugs are purchased and later on Directorate ‘forces’ the field staff to exhaust that supply in different schools,” a medical officer told CNS wishing not to be named. He added that most of these ISM sponsored medical camps are organized in rural and far flung areas of Kashmir Valley.

The irony is that Directorate ISM Kashmir even has forgotten that all schools are covered under a central sponsored scheme RBSK to provide regular weekly health checkups and drugs to school going children.

Recently, a ‘free medical’ camp was organized by Directorate of Indian System of Medicines (AYUSH) in Old District Hospital Baramulla, where expired medicines were distributed among the patients. “I was shocked to see that expired medicines were provided to my ailing mother-in-law. These had expired three months back. It showed the manufacture date January 2013 and expiry date as 2 years from date of manufacture. It is indeed cheating in the name of free medical camps,” said one Manzoor Ahmed Ganai.

He added that there were hundreds of patients who were provided medicines and all of them may not have necessarily checked the date of manufacture. “If it happened with us, it may have been the case with others too,” he said.

When contacted, Director ISM, Dr Kabir told CNS that people are appreciating the job of their institution. He however admitted that he has received a report where some expired drugs were distributed among people. “I will check what actually has happened, but the reality is that ISM is doing a wonderful job in Valley,” he said. 

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