– promises ‘soon’ end to sole sourcing
The existing procurement situation remains a particular nuisance to the Ministry of Public Health.
This assertion was made by Minister within the Ministry of Public Health, Dr. Karen Cummings, when she made her contribution to the 2016 national budget debate Tuesday evening.
But according to Dr. Cummings, her Ministry is working to address this state of affairs swiftly. “Procurement remains the bane of our Ministry. This system is currently being comprehensively reformed as we explore more transparent procedures, moving away from sole sourcing to open competitive bidding,” the Public Health Minister told the House.
The Minister was at the time making reference to the New Guyana Pharmaceutical Corporation (GPC).
She said, “…We inherited an albatross in the form of the New GPC being the only supplier of drugs to the health sector. The Ministry of Public Health has plans to rid itself of this frightening monopolistic arrangement,” she asserted.
Reflecting on the actions of the past administration – the People’s Progressive Party/Civic – to condone the daunting situation, Minister Cummings lamented that allowing the New GPC to have a procurement monopoly only served to create challenges for the public health sector. “…That the previous government would sell 90 per cent of its shares in an entity it owned and controlled, only to turn back and buy drugs from the same entity which has become a private enterprise, is imprudent as much as it is appalling.”
The outcome is that the public health sector is now burdened with “Buying drugs from a single source because the procedure of prequalification was decidedly skewed in favour of that particular private company.”
But according to Dr. Cummings, open competitive bidding is on the horizon. She made it clear that “Sole sourcing of drugs, as we know it, will end very soon!”
“This APNU+AFC government will ensure that it does not waste the hard earned taxpayers’ dollars on enriching the pockets of the undeserving,” the Minister assured.
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