PAC seeks govt`s strong commitment to improve healthcare system

Last Updated: Apr 30, 2013, 21:53 PM IST

New Delhi: A Parliamentary panel has sought a firm commitment from the Health Ministry to intensify its efforts for bringing overall improvement in the country`s healthcare system.

The Public Accounts Committee has also asked the Ministry to further intensify its monitoring mechanism for checking spurious and adulterated drugs and ensure punishment.

"The Committee demands a firm commitment from the Ministry to intensify the measures, in unison with state governments, to bridge the gap between the abysmal doctor- patient ratio so as to provide efficient, affordable and satisfactory health care system in the country," the PAC said in its 84th report.

While reviewing the action taken report (ATR) on the procurement of medicines and medical equipment, the PAC headed by BJP leader Murli Manohar Joshi said, "instead of assuring the Committee of the commitment of the government to provide efficient and satisfactory health care, the Ministry responded by replying `no comments`."

On the issue of supply of spurious and substandard drugs, the Committee said, it urges the Ministry "to intensify the monitoring mechanism so as to establish a strict enforcement regime for stringent prosecution/penalties in cases of manufacture, supply and sale of spurious and adulterated drugs as as non-adherence to the quality norms prescribed."

Lauding the Ministry`s initiatives in this regard, the Committee hoped that the efforts for zero tolerance towards spurious drugs/adulteration of drugs, having serious ramifications on the life and health of beneficiaries would fructify to achieve the desired objectives.

The PAC also asked the Ministry to review and amend the Drugs and Cosmetic Rules so that a definite, uniform and speedy timelines for submitting test reports is laid down and scrupulously adhered to by all government laboratories.