Provide Full course of Medicine to OPD Patients at first visit

Health, ,

Government of West Bengal
Health & Family Welfare Department
TDE Branch, Swasthya Bhavan,
GN 29, Sector V, Salt Lake, Kolkata 700 091

No. H/TDE/241/5S-08/14 Dated: 03.03.2014


The drug procurement and distribution arrangement has been thoroughly revamped in West Bengal w.e.f June, 2011 with main objective to enhance the availability of essential and vital drugs free of cost to the poor patients in govt hospitals to minimize their out of pocket expenses. The reforms were also aimed at providing value for money, increasing transparency in procurement and enhancing accountability at all tiers.

With the increase in drug and consumables budget over the years, the procurement of drug, equipment and consumables has been streamlined through an web enabled dedicated software which enable the concerned facility to know the order status, delivery status, current stock position, pipeline stock, bill payment status and fund utilization. Procurement has better streamlined on the basis of actual projected requirement. Distribution is being done on First expiry First Out (FEFO) basis, short expiry dates are being not allowed, the entire payment process has been regularized, vendors have access to the system. Physical verification of stock has been found easier.

In the meantime, Free drug policy of the State has been announced and circulated by this office no HF/O/TDE/29/M-08/13 Dated 09.01.2014.

At present, as per the existing dispensing protocol, the patient attending the OPD/Emergency are provided with drugs for only 3(three) days duration. As a result of which, the concerned patients are to attend OPD after 3(three) days to collect drugs for the remaining courses of treatment resulting in incurring unnecessary out-of-pocket expenditure. Many patients under chronic cases like hypertension, mental disorder and other ailments are supplied medicine and antibiotics for 3(three) days resulting in chances of drug resistant.

Under this backdrop, it is felt necessary to revise the dispensing protocol.

Now, after careful consideration of the mater, the Governor is pleased to direct that the Govt health facilities/units will provide full course of medicine to the patients as per prescription provided by the attending physician in the OPD at the time of/during the first visit at Govt hospital & also at emergency department. The next visit date of the patient in the OPD should only be considered by the attending physician for clinical purpose only. Medicine should be provided to the OPD patients in the subsequent visits as per prescription.

The order will immediate effect and would continue until further order.

This has approval of the Principal Secretary of this Department.

Special Secretary

No. H/TDE/14 dated 03.03.2014, Source