Over the last 30 months, the Ministry of Public Health has been bombarded with criticism from various quarters regarding the procurement of drugs and medical supplies.
In an effort to bring an aura of transparency and accountability to this matter going forward, the Ministry has established a Procurement Department.
This was revealed yesterday by Public Health Minister, Volda Lawrence during day three of the budget 2018 debates.
Lawrence noted that the Procurement Department now has the responsibility for the acquisition of drugs and medicines that meet prescribed safety and health standards at a cost effective price. She went further to explain the reasons which informed the decision to establish the new unit.
“The recommendations from the Commission of Inquiry into the Ministry of Public Health’s procurement procedures, the Reports and comments emanating from the Auditor General’s Office, and the investigation into the award for emergency drugs at the Georgetown Public Hospital Corporation (GPHC), together with the Public Procurement Commission’s findings on the matter, have emboldened the Ministry to establish a Procurement Department.”
Lawrence explained that this Department has its full complement of staff; a USAID-trained and experienced Manager, Supervisors and Support Staff, who will ensure that the Ministry of Health follows the guidelines stipulated in the Procurement Act and adheres to the principles of the Segregation of Duties.
In this way, she asserted that the Ministry and GPHC can withstand scrutiny and function with transparency and integrity.
The Minister said that great emphasis has been placed over the years on the purchasing of drugs and less on the distribution of drugs.
“In other words, the arrival of the drugs at its final destination has not been efficiently monitored, resulting quite often in so-called shortages of drugs,” said Lawrence.
The Parliamentarian revealed that the Ministry is therefore putting systems in place that will account for the transportation of drugs and medicines from the Bond until it arrives at its final destination. In this way, Lawrence said that the Ministry will be better positioned to account for the availability of specific drugs.
The issue of late distribution of drugs has been highlighted for years in the Auditor General’s reports. Lawrence also made mention of this during her contribution to the budget debates.
Sep 21, 2018Eagles edged Vikings Basketball Club 76-74 to return to winning ways on Wednesday night during Second Division play of the Georgetown Amateur Basketball Association (GABA)/Rainforest Waters/Malta...
Thirty years ago, as a columnist replying to Harry Hergash, who ran away from his country almost fifty years ago, I would... more
Editor’s Note, If your sent letter was not published and you felt its contents were valid and devoid of libel or personal attacks, please contact us by phone or email.
Feel free to send us your comments and/or criticisms.
Contact: 624-6456; 225-8452; 225-8458; 225-8463; 225-8465; 225-8473 or 225-8491.
Or by Email: [email protected] / [email protected]