01 February 2011
By Majid Jahangir
PGI Faces Glove Shortage as Contractor Refuses to Send Supplies Due to Hike in Rubber Rates
Ram Kumar, a resident of Chandigarh, had developed a toothache over the weekend. For two days, he took painkillers as he planned to consult a doctor at PGIMER. On Monday, when he visited the hospital, the first thing the doctors told him was to purchase a pair of gloves for his examination.
Like Kumar, all patients who visit the Oral Health Sciences Centre at PGI nowadays are asked to bring a pair of gloves for the examination. As a result, patients and their attendants can be seen at various drug shops at the PGI looking for disposable gloves. The doctors use these gloves for the examination of the patients and once used, the gloves are disposed.
According to insiders, PGI has been facing a severe shortage of gloves for the last three months as the main contractor has reportedly refused to provide the supply due to the increase in rates of natural rubber. Sources said despite the PGI authorities’ assurances to the contractor that they would increase the rate contract by 10 per cent, he has refused to provide the supplies.
And it is not only the Oral Health Sciences Centre. Most other departments of PGIMER, too, are advising patients to get a pair of gloves for their examination. The patients who have to undergo surgery are asked to purchase the gloves first, besides the other required items.
PGI officials, however, said that they are buying the gloves on a need basis. "We are buying the gloves on a need basis from the non–plan budget," said PGIMER Official Spokesperson Manju Wadwalkar. "We will float a new tender for supply of gloves very soon and will be able to restore the normal supply."