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Shortage of thalassemia medicine at civil hospital, patients protest | Ludhiana News

Ludhiana: A few medicines for thalassemia are unavailable at Ludhiana civil hospital, forcing some patients to either take half doses or stop them completely. On Tuesday morning, about 40 thalassemia patients reached the civil hospital and staged a protest.
Two protesters were allowed to meet senior medical officer Dr Amarjeet Kaur, who, they said, asked the patients to wait for one more week.
Haibowal’s Sukrit Bassti, 18, said, “My brother and I are thalassemic. Our monthly expense for the medicine is approximately Rs 14,000. My mother works as a receptionist. We were getting medicines from the civil hospital, but these are not available for the past one month. I visited the hospital several times to enquire about the stock arrival, but every time I was asked to wait for a few more days. Therefore, we all decided to stage a protest, but the SMO failed to give us a satisfactory reply. She told us to take another medicine that is available in the hospital, but it does not suit everyone. Now she has asked for another week’s time to arrange the drug.”
Another patient, Sippi, 22, said, “I work as a labourer and earn Rs 500 per day. The medicine I take costs over Rs 6,000 to Rs 7,000 per month, which I cannot afford. Since the medicine is unavailable at the civil hospital, I have stopped taking it. The government should think about poor people like us.”
He alleged, “My friend had enquired from the Chandigarh office of National Health Mission and was told that the medicine stock was available. Government hospitals of other districts have taken it from there except the Ludhiana hospital.”
The protesters said if they did not get the medicine in a week, they would stage a peaceful protest outside the house of the health minister in Chandigarh.
Senior medical officer Dr Amarjeet Kaur said, “The medicines of one company are out of stock, while those of another firm are available. But patients are not willing to take those. Soon, we will restock the medicines. Besides, the thalassemia ward is open and patients can come from 9am to 3pm. If anyone faces any issues in getting treatment at the ward, they can approach me at my office.”

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