Ludhiana : Several non-government organisations have been illegally providing medicine to patients inside the civil hospital here in the name of public service without the necessary drug licence, pharmacist in their team or permission from the health facility.

However, authorities have expressed ignorance of the activity going on in the premises of the civil hospital.

According to the Drugs & Cosmetics Act 1940, it is not permissible for anyone to engage in the sale, purchase, or storage of medicines in large quantities without obtaining the necessary drug licence.

It has been noticed that for the past 10-15 days, several NGOs have set up full-fledged stalls and have been illegally dispensing medicines to people within the premises of the hospital. The members of these NGOs bring large bags of medicines and set up stalls without any permission from hospital authorities.

NGOs, including Ek Noor, Samvedna, Nikhil Trust, RehRaas Sewa Society, Sarb Sukh Sewa Foundation, Ek Zaria, have been engaged in providing medicine in the hospital.

Sachin, a member of Ek Zaria NGO, agreed that they are sitting without any approval from the health department.

“Our organisation helps those in need by covering the costs of their medicine bills. We do not keep any medicine with us. The civil hospital is a government facility. We don’t have any permission to install our setup in the premises. We are just providing our services to the people in need,” he said.

Sukhwinder Kaur, founder of Sarb Sukh Sewa Foundation said, “We are just helping the people from the past 9 years. We provide medicines to needy people which are not available in the hospital pharmacy.”

According to sources, there are two-three NGOs who have recently started distributing medicines to patients in the civil hospital. These NGOs are allegedly providing medicines even without prescription slips.

Zonal licensing Authority (ZLA) Kulwinder Singh said that the issue was not in his notice.

“This is an illegal and punishable offence. We will definitely take action against violators,” he said.

Drug inspector Gurpreet Singh said that he will check the spot and action will be taken against the violators.

Senior medical officer of the civil hospital Dr. Amarjit Kaur said, “I have not given any permission to these NGOs to sit inside our hospital premises. It came to our notice that these NGOs are dispensing medicine to the public illegally.”

“We held a meeting under assistant civil surgeon Dr. Vivek Kataria in my office on Thursday and issued a warning to all NGOs,” she said.

Dr. Amarjit said, “It is illegal and punishable to dispense or store medicines without a drugs licence as per Drugs & Cosmetics Act 1940. We will take strict action if any NGO is found violating the law.”