New procurement system at Public Health to improve drug delivery- PAC hears

GINA, GUYANA, Monday, May 29, 2017

The Ministry of Public Health is currently putting systems in place to address procurement, human resources and other deficiencies that have hampered the effective delivery of health care services of the Ministry.

Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Public Health, Collette Adams (Parliament Officer PR photo)

Permanent Secretary (PS) of the Ministry, Collette Adams, shared this with the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) in the Parliament Chambers, today. The PS and a team from the Ministry appeared before the PAC to answer questions on the 2015 Auditor General’s Report on the Ministry.

The more than two hours grill session saw members and chairman of the committee, Opposition Member of Parliament, Irfaan Ali questioning the PS and her team.

PAC member, Juan Edghill, called for a “value for money audit” into the Ministry.  The call came after questions on the procurement of drugs and other medical supplies revealed inadequacies in reconciliation of procured items.

Edghill questioned the PS on what “checks and balances” were in place to ensure real time reconciliation before payments are made. PS Adams explained that the Ministry is currently in the process of establishing an efficient procurement unit which will “have enough persons to do from the starting to the ending” of the procurement of drugs and other medical supplies.

The new procurement unit will also see greater focus on contract management, Adams told the PAC.

She explained that the Ministry is currently undertaking reconciliation with internal departments to verify drugs delivered by contractors in 2015.  The PS admitted that the current system has proved challenging and that is why a new system is being implemented.

The new procurement unit is awaiting the appointment of staff by the Public Service Department and is expected to be operational in about two weeks’ time Adams pointed out.

The PS admitted, after being questioned by the Chairman, that failure to reconcile drugs received has contributed to drug shortage issues the Public Health sector has experienced.

It is hoped that the new measures will strengthen procurement and improve delivery of drugs to health facilities, the PS noted.

 

By: Tiffny Rhodius

 

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