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Odisha Health Dept Orders Closure of Private Medicine Stores in Public Health Institutions

Bhubaneswar: The Odisha Health & Family Welfare Department has issued a directive for private medicine stores operating within public health institutions to vacate their premises within 15 days.

Commissioner-cum-Secretary of the Health & Family Welfare Department, Shalini Pandit, issued the directive following a verdict dated April 19, 2024, by the High Court in a series of cases filed by owners of private medicine stores within the campuses of public health institutions.

In a letter addressed to the Superintendents, Deans, and Principals of various medical colleges and hospitals, as well as Chief District Medical & Public Health Officers (CDM&PHOs) across the state, Pandit instructed them to serve ‘vacation notices’ to Campus Medicine Shops, granting a 15-day period for them to vacate the premises.

The directive specifies that only Government-run Niramaya medicine counters, which provide all types of medicines free of cost, will be permitted to operate within government hospital premises henceforth.

This move aligns with efforts to streamline and regulate medical services within public health institutions and ensure equitable access to essential medications for all patients.

With the deadline looming, private medicine stores are expected to comply with the directive and make necessary arrangements for relocation, while patients will continue to benefit from the free medication services offered by Niramaya counters.

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