Gujarat Health Department proposes to grant autonomy to CMSO

Gujarat is gearing up for another leap in the sector of public health. The Gujarat Health and Family welfare department has put forward a proposal to the state government to grant autonomy to the Central Medical Stores Organization (CMSO). The move if executed will make it an independent body similar to Tamil Nadu Medical Services Corporation (TNMSC).

How will it benefit the health sector?

  • The move is thought to make the process of procurement of drugs and distribution faster and more efficient.
  • It would bring more services under its purview, like procurement and installation of medical equipment in state run institutions etc.
  • The number of drugs in the list of essential drugs would increase.
  • Cut down the long Bureaucratic and Administrative processes.
  • The CMSO now operates with funds solely from the state exchequer.

What is the current status?

  • Currently, the CMSO has a list of 100 essential drugs that also include life saving drugs.
  • The agency floats open tenders to procure drugs from both public and private sector pharmaceutical companies, and channelizes them to state run hospitals.

Why the state government trying to follow the footprints of TNMSC?

  • The TNMSC model is regarded as one of the most efficient systems in the country for procurement and distribution of drugs at affordable costs.
  • As per a study conducted by Planning Commission, TNMSC had bought medicines at up to 1/20th of the retail price through bulk procurement and distributed it to people at an affordable price.
  • Around 100 companies supply over 450 different drugs and surgical equipment to the TNMSC for distribution.

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