Hyderabad: Covid-19 medicines burn a hole in poor people's pocket
Hyderabad: While the coronavirus is increasingly taking a toll on human health, the cost of treatment and exorbitant price of medicines is burning a hole in the pockets of poor families.
For positive cases, doctors in private hospitals are prescribing medicines like 'Fabiflu' which costs over Rs 3,000 for a single strip of 34 tablets. The patients are asked to take 4 such strips during their primary course of treatment for 14 days. While the poor patients with symptoms are being told to approach Gandhi Hospital and Fever Hospital, many are unwilling to go there for reasons ranging from lack of faith in the system to cleanliness issues and others.
Another issue is that few medical stores have the stock. Ahmed, a cab driver, said, "I lost my job during lockdown and a member of my family tested positive a few days ago. The pandemic snatched my source of income while the exorbitant price of medicine left me completely tormented." "We are prescribing medicines to asymptotic patients such as paracetamol and multi vitamins besides two masks. If at all they have any symptoms, then we are even giving them antibiotics such as azithromycin," informed an official from the health department.
"The medicines which are being prescribed by private hospitals are not being recommended here in state-run health facilities," added the official. "As the Covid-19 medicines are very costly and beyond the reach of common man, the government can procure it and distribute among the needy free of cost. This would help people get treated in their own houses and the pressure mounted on the government hospitals could also came down," said Kamelakar Jitendar, a social activist.