The Sindh government has been facing an acute shortage of life-saving drugs and disposal surgical instruments for several weeks due to the incompetence of the concerned authorities of the Sindh Health Department.The patients of hospitals in Sindh, including Dr Ruth Pfau Civil Hospital, Karachi (CHK), Jinnah Postgraduate Medical Centre (JPMC), Sindh Government Lyari General Hospital, Sindh Government Hospital Liaquatabad, National Institute of Child Health (NICH) and others, are being asked to purchase medicines with their own money. As a result, health facilities have been facing an acute shortage of medicines owing to bureaucratic hurdles in the central procurement system for medicines. The hospitals of Hyderabad, Larkana, Sukkur, Mirpur Khas, Shaheed Benazirabad and other cities are also facing a shortage of life-saving drugs. The medicines for patients, who are suffering from chronic diseases, are also not available in the government sector hospitals.The Sindh Health Department had introduced a centralised procurement system in 2014-15 to purchase life-saving drugs for all the hospitals in order to control corruption and other irregularities in purchasing medicines. Since then, about 85 percent of the medicines for all the public hospitals in Sindh are being procured through a centralised system, while 15 percent through a local purchase system. The supply of life-saving medicines across the province has not started yet, despite the passage of one quarter of the fiscal year 2019-20 due to a delay in the lengthy procedure.Presently, all the major hospitals of Sindh have been facing an acute shortage of life-saving drugs and surgical items. The provision of medicines and surgical instruments to 10,000 Out Patient Departments (OPDs) and 1,500 emergency patients on a daily basis had become difficult for the administration, Civil Hospital Karachi Medical Superintendent Dr Khadim Hussain Qureshi said while talking to the media. The hospital management was providing medicines through a local purchase system to the admitted patients, he added.The tender for procurements of medicines and surgical items through a central procurement system should be issued in June or July every year to avoid a crisis-like situation, said an official (who did not want to be named) at the Jinnah Postgraduate Medical Centre (JPMC).