Chandigarh: Orthopaedic implants will be available at affordable prices in two weeks at the Affordable Medicines and Reliable Implants for Treatment (AMRIT) outlet in Post Graduate Institute of Medical Education and Research (PGIMER). This decision was taken at a meeting held on Saturday, between the PGIMER administration, committee members, Amrit representatives and doctors at the orthopaedics department. The orthopaedicians have also been asked to refrain from interacting with private distributors on the issue of orthopaedic implants..
“The ortho implants, which are provided at Rs 1.5 – Rs 2 lakh by distributors for a total knee replacement, can be provided at Rs 60-Rs 65,000. Cost of other implants will also dip,” said an official from AMRIT outlet.
A Hindustan Times survey last month had revealed how doctors were talking to private distributors of orthopaedic implants directly and also referring patients to them for purchases. This despite an AMRIT outlet option being available to them, which provides the same implants at a much cheaper rate.
After this HT revelation, a five member committee chaired by Dr. KLN Rao was constituted around 10 days ago to look into the matter.
“The orthopaedics department have agreed to coordinate with AMRIT. Like it was done in the Advanced Cardiac Centre, doctors are to give us a list of equipment in 3-4 days and it will be given to AMRIT, which will keep the entire stock,” said a committee member.
“All supply will be coming from AMRIT only. The implants will be provided at cheapest rates. Right now, no rate has been decided but there will be heavy discount on implants,” he said.
He also made clear that doctors would no longer be dealing with medical representatives on the issue.
“That was the whole root cause of the problem. Doctors have been told that they will not be dealing with private distributors any more,” he stated.
The prices of implants used for total hip replacement , knee replacement, and other trauma surgeries at the department of orthopaedics, PGIMER, will also come for cheaper.
Patients are likely to benefit in a big way with the authorities decision to ensure that all implants are purchased from AMRIT for knee and hip surgeries to be conducted at PGIMER. The cost is likely to come down by Rs 30,000-Rs 40,000.
“In case the local distributors do not cooperate with AMRIT, then we can buy these implants from other states, as we have outlets in 136 places,” said an AMRIT representative to the HT.
Union Health Minister JP Nadda inaugurated the Amrit outlet to provide ortho implants and drugs at reasonable prices.