RUKUM: Scarcity of medicine in health facilities across the district due to the lack of budget has ridiculed the government declaration of providing free medical treatment to the people.

Officials said the dearth of drugs had persisted

for about two months.

Binod Kumar Giri, chief, District Public Health Office, said the budget allocated

for this fiscal year had not been received.

There are 35 sub-health posts, 10 health posts and five primary health centres in the district. Cetamol is the only medicine available in the medical centres. The government had made available 28 kinds of medicine to sub-health posts, 35 kinds to health posts and 50 kinds to primary health centres for free distribution.

‘’We have not been able to supply medicines as demanded simply due to the lack of funds,” the chief said. The office distributed medicines worth Rs 15 million last year. Last year as well, the drug supply is said to have lasted only six months. Health workers in rural areas said most of the medicine supplied last year was of poor quality or expired.

The scarcity is said to have been created by irregularities in tender process for procuring medicine. Meanwhile, DPHO, said the medicine purchased for this year had been over while distributing the same to the diarrhoea-hit people.