Amid economic problems and rising poverty in Afghanistan, a number of relatives of patients in hospitals say there is a lack of medicine in medical facilities and they must buy medicine from pharmacies.
Jamhuriat Hospital in Kabul is one of the biggest state-owned hospitals and receives hundreds of patients on a daily basis.
A number of patients at the hospital said some of the testing is not done at the hospital and also the hospital lacks sufficient medicine.
“Before the operation, we bought all the medicine from pharmacies outside the hospital. They gave us nothing from the hospital (pharmacy). Medicine is also very expensive,” said Mohammad Taher, relative of a patient.
“When a patient is going to have an operation he has to have some examinations. Some of those examinations can be done here, others not,” said Kefayatullah, a relative of a patient.
Near Jamhuriat Hospital is Antani Hospital, another major hospital that treats infectious diseases. Patients at the hospital said it also lacks medicine.
“They (hospital administration) say that the minister is not there to sign to bring the medicine. Bringing medicine also takes time,” said Mirza, a relative of a patient at the hospital.
In addition to these two major hospitals in the capital, hundreds of state-owned hospitals and clinics face the same problem around the country.
A Kunduz resident told TOLOnews that “the prices of medicine have risen, and the people cannot afford to treat their patients.”
According to hospital administrations and doctors, a lack of budget in the health sector is one of the main reasons that medicine is not dispatched to the hospitals.
Shafiq Hamdard, head of Badakhshan’s provincial hospital, said the World Bank fund suspension has created the problem for the hospitals. He, however, said Agha Khan Foundation in Badakhsan has promised to provide the necessary medicine for the hospital.
“Up until the World Bank resumes its support, the Agha Khan Foundation office has promised to fund the program from its own budget,” he said.
TOLOnews was unable to obtain comments from the public health ministry. The ministry on its Facebook page, however, has written that it is talking to the partner organizations to resolve the problem.