$3.2B emergency spending on drugs and medical supplies
− critical items low, out of stock
The Ministry of Health is spending $3.2B to purchase an emergency supply of drugs and medical supplies to alleviate shortages at facilities countrywide.
This was revealed by Minister of Health, Hon. Dr. Frank Anthony on Thursday as the Budget debate continued at the Arthur Chung Conference Centre.
“Imagine my utter disbelief when a quick survey of the Materials Management Unit [MMU] shows that on August 5, 2020, there were 206 items of medicine and medical supply that were out of stock. There were 156 items of drugs with zero stock levels,” Dr. Anthony said.
Tenders for the purchases were opened on September 17, and the supplies will soon be delivered to the Ministry. There was also a shortage of antibiotics, and the stock levels of 50 types of medical supplies were at zero. The survey also revealed that there were no x-ray films, oxygen nebulisers, bandages, thermometers, nor insulin syringes, all of which had to be purchased.
“To further stabilise the situation, the PPP/C Government has put into this Budget $14.3B which would ensure that we have adequate stock of medicines and medical supplies,” Minister Anthony said.
Some $51.7 billion has been earmarked for the health sector in this year’s budget.