…as Cabinet approves over $1B worth of pharmaceuticals for GPHC
The Ministry of Public Health has developed an aggressive approach to dealing with its suppliers of pharmaceuticals and medical supplies. This notion was emphasized by Minister of State Joseph Harmon yesterday.
Harmon, who was speaking at this week’s Post-Cabinet press briefing, noted that this approach is being championed by Public Health Minister, Ms. Volda Lawrence.
“The Minister of Public Health has been very aggressive in so far as actually getting contractors who were awarded these contracts to supply those drugs on time and supply drugs in the right quantities and [with] the right expiry date,” Harmon said.
To amplify his point, the Minister informed that “the [Public Health] Ministry is actually taking some very firm measures with respect to the purchasing of pharmaceuticals. They have actually laid out a new system for procurement which I believe is also in the public domain, and once those systems are adhered to, I believe we should have a better flow of pharmaceuticals going to hospitals and health centres for the benefit of the Guyanese people”.
Cabinet on Tuesday, according to Harmon, approved in excess of $1 billion pharmaceuticals for the Georgetown Public Hospital Corporation [GPHC].
In this regard approval has been granted for the procurement of pharmaceuticals as follows: $490,558,680 from the New Guyana Pharmaceutical Corporation Inc.; $326,104,093.35 from International Pharmaceutical Agency; $96,245,200 from ANSA McAl Trading Limited and $26,314,990 from Global Healthcare Supplies Incorporated, all amounting to a total of $939,222,963.35.
Another set of pharmaceuticals approved for the hospital will be procured from Global Healthcare Supplies Incorporated at a cost of $3,799,164; Caribbean Medical Supplies Incorporated at a cost of $7,806,000; International Pharmaceutical Agency at a cost of $56,061,340; Meditron at a cost of $12,081,880 and New GPC Incorporated at a cost of $52,072,800, all totaling $131,821,184.00.
The two sets of procurement approvals will attract a sum of $1,071,044,147
Even as the Public Health Ministry looks to be more meticulous with its procurement practice, Harmon said that measures are also apace to scale back the rental of storage bonds.
He noted that “you would recall during the course of last week that the Minister herself and a team went to the New GPC [New Guyana Pharmaceutical] Bond where there was some expired drugs that were being stored and those were recovered, and they had gone through a process of inventorising and those that needed to be destroyed were so destroyed”.
He added, “The fact that a bond was being rented, [that meant] rent was being paid by the State…The contract actually came to an end and those pharmaceuticals that were still in the bond [were] actually a hold-over from the contract, and it was important, we felt, to ensure that we did not have anything stored there, so that the company can actually [continue to] bill us for rent.”
It was earlier this week that the GPHC, acting on the approach endorsed by the Public Health Minister, had removed all of its outstanding supplies stored at the New GPC Bond.
Minister Lawrence in offering a comment to this publication on the move explained “we have been working to clear our bonds of all expired stuff and as a result of that we have some space and we are looking at how we can remove out of the two rented places [New GPC and Sussex Street Bonds].”
The Minister added, “We are hoping to take the money used there and reinvest it in the public health sector. We know we will always need space, so we will need to build more bonds and expand the ones we have,” Minister Lawrence explained.
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