Bhubaneswar, Aug 28 (IANS) The Odisha government on Monday directed the Health Department to ensure that doctors of state-run hospitals prescribe medicines supplied under Niramaya scheme.

Holding a review meeting here, Chief Secretary Aditya Prasad Padhi directed Health Secretary Pramod Meherda to closely supervise and monitor whether the medicines supplied were being prescribed by the doctors and were actually being distributed to the patients.

Padhi also said that a telephone number be designated where people can complain if they do not get the required medicine from the hospital stores.

It was also decided to undertake awareness activities about the effectiveness and quality of medicines being supplied under the scheme.

Niramaya scheme was launched in 2015 to provide free medicines to patients in all government hospitals in the state.

Types of medicines approved for procurement and supply under the programme has been enhanced to 558 for 2017-18 against 499 in 2016-17, said an official.

For the current year, an amount of Rs 254 crore has been provided by the state government in the first phase of procurement under the scheme.

Provision of around Rs 58 crore has also been made for local purchase of medicines by the Chief District Medical Officers, said the official.

This is published unedited from the IANS feed.