No requirement, yet Civil Hospital buys Rs 5-lakh HIV kits - Mandi Gobindgarh News

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Tuesday, August 13, 2019

No requirement, yet Civil Hospital buys Rs 5-lakh HIV kits


No requirement, yet Civil Hospital buys Rs 5-lakh HIV kits

Aparna Banerji

Tribune News Service

Jalandhar, August 12

The Civil Hospital here made local purchases of a whopping over Rs 5 lakh of 231 Elisa HCV and HIV kits without any demand being made for them. The purchase was made for one of the centres (Kala Bakra) which does not even have an Elisa testing machine.

Made in March and April, officials termed the purchases a clerical error.

With a single kit, which costs between Rs 2,500 to 3,000, as many as 96 tests can be conducted.

In total 56 kits (28 HIV, 28 HCV) were sent to the Community Health Centre (CHC), Kala Bakra, whereas 205 kits (101 HCV and 104 HIV) were purchased for the Blood Bank, Jalandhar. The Blood Bank returned all kits barring 60 (30 HIV and 30 HCV) while the CHC, Kala Bakra, replied with a formal letter claiming it had nil requirement for kits. In total, of the 261 kits purchased, 231 (worth Rs 5,77,500) were returned.

The HCV and HIV testing kits are received only from the Punjab State AIDS Control Society as per demand. Emergency local purchases are only made for a few kits in times of need.

But in this case, demand for 231 kits (for total 22,176 tests) was made. On an average, the Jalandhar Civil Hospital conducts 800 to 1,000 HIV/HCV tests per month.

The Community Health Centre, Kala Bakra, wrote back on May 17 that since the CHC did not have an ELISA reader, the tests could not be conducted. Sources said the kits were still at the CHC.

Sources said it was surprising that the five-member purchase committee under the Civil Surgeon, which cleared purchases, failed to see the unusual demand for a huge number of kits.

Also, in violation of protocol, non-availability certificate from NACO or Drug Warehouse, Verka (the formal supplier for Elisa test kits), was not obtained.

Blood Transfusion Officer, Jalandhar, Gagandeep Singh said, “A clerical error had been made in the demand due to which it was overstated. It’s the only time such a clerical error has occurred. Of the kits (205) demanded we kept 15 kits each for HCV and HIV while the rest were returned. They will be kept in the store and we will use them over a period of time.”

Gurnaam Singh, senior storekeeper, National Rural Health Mission store, Civil Hospital, Jalandhar, said, “We only sent demands which were made to us. The Civil Surgeon was intimated and the CS office cleared purchases.” He confirmed that a no no-avalability certificate was sought from the warehouse.

Civil Surgeon, Jalandhar, Dr Chawla said, “I have joined recently, hence I am not aware of the discrepancies in the case. We are looking into the files.”

Additional Project Director, Punjab State AIDS Control Society (PSACS), Manpreet Chatwal said, “I am not aware of the issue. However, it is a violation if purchases have been made for a centre without a testing machine.”


A clerical error, claim Officials 

  • The purchase of 231 Elisa HCV and HIV kits was made for one of the centres (Kala Bakra), which does not even have an Elisa testing machine
  • Bought in March and April, officials termed it a clerical error
  • With a single kit, which costs between Rs 2,500 to 3,000, as many as 96 tests can be conducted
  • The HCV and HIV testing kits are received only from the Punjab State AIDS Control Society as per demand

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