Fears of ‘stock outs’ and drug unavailability will end – MMU Director

DPI, Guyana, Friday, April 13, 2018

The new procurement system for drugs and medical supplies as envisioned by the Ministry of Public Health (MoPH) is now bearing fruit, as shortages of these key items to the health sector will soon to be a thing of the past.

Stocks in cold storage.

Director of the Materials Management Unit, Ministry of Public Health, Cecil Jacques said that in 2017 the MoPH decided to change the system of procurement of drugs and medical supplies since then there has been an assurance of no future stock outs or the unavailability of critical drugs and medical supplies. A new unit within the ministry has been established to specially oversee the purchase and management of drugs and medical supplies.

Jacques detailed to DPI that, “the fears and the anxieties of stock outs and unavailability of medicines will end very soon. As a matter of fact, as I speak to you a container of critical medicines will arrive on Monday (April 16) and our staff here at the MMU will have to work overtime to stock them, put them in inventory and then to send them out.”

The new procurement method was necessary because in the previous system, ordering of drugs was not properly forecasted or catered for.

Jacques explained that with earlier procurement the country will now stock one year’s supply of drugs and medical supplies for distribution throughout the country. This has already come on stream and he said this will now give the MoPH’s procurement unit sufficient time to prepare for 2019.

“It’s what you call the learning curve, we have to start the 2018 process earlier, so once we start the 2019 process in 2018, we will not have this delay in the deliveries, we will have earlier deliveries,” Jacques explained.

Health facilities have already begun to see “the fruits of the new system that has been in place” Jaques detailed and “based on the political will and the leadership of the Ministry of Public Health, we hope that we can start the 2019 process as early as September 2018.”

Minister Lawrence said that the ministry has sought to correct several errors and as a result, persons will be to attend health facilities and not be faced with shortages of this nature.

“Persons (should) not stay home and listen to the negative comments that are being said whether it’s in the print media or otherwise and decide that they are not going to the health facilities for medical attention. They will turn up because their government with funds from the taxpayers have met our obligations to ensure that the necessary supplies and drugs are available and for the various facilities.” Minister Lawrence said.

Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Health, Colette Adams, noted the positive feedback from the new procurement system. “I must say that it is a work in progress. We have 13 persons in the procurement unit who are assigned to do specific tasks, ensuring that when from the process of request to the process of delivery, all the logistics are put in place.” Adams said.

Some of the stock that had been acquired, under the new procurement system of the ministry of Public Health.

Some of the stock that had been acquired, under the new procurement system of the ministry of Public Health.


By: Delicia Haynes


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