Minister of Health Peter Kumpalume declined to name and shame drug suppliers who failed to deliver after being asked to do so un parliament.
Kumpalume was asked by a legislator to name the drug suppliers when the minister said in a statement in Parliament that public hospitals have nearly exhausted most of their drug budgets, a move that could worsen the drug situation in public hospitals.
The Minister of Health said the public hospitals lately experienced a shortage of analgesics [paracetamol etc due to non-delivery of the supply by a local manufacturer.
“ Corrective measures have been taken and two other local companies will take over the allocation,” he said.
MP David Bisnowaty who owns Sadm pharmaceuticals stood on a point of order that the said suppliers failed to supply because they didn’t have money to import raw material and the banks refused to finance.
Nyasa Times understand the company is Kentam of Mzuzu.
Many local companies fail to supply because they can’t access finance while foreign companies get letter of credit from government which is a guarantee payment which local companies are not privileged.
Kumpalume said most district hospitals may not stock drugs and supplies as district health offices (DHOs) used up more than half of their funding for drugs six months before the next budget.
He said the stock availability at Central Medical Stores Trust (CMST) is at 30 percent between July and December.
“Even though CMST reports 60 percent stock of must-have drugs, this figure is based on whether that item is available irrespective of whether the volume is sufficient or not,” he said.
In the 2015/16 budget, Parliament approved drug budget allocations for district hospitals at K10 billion and K5.6 billion for central hospitals.
In his mid-term budget review statement on Friday, Minister of Finance, Economic Planning and Development Goodall Gondwe omitted to explain how government would deal with the drug crisis that has paralysed the country.
The Parliamentary Committee on Health and Population has since expressed concern over the shortages of medicine.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :