Lack of coordination leads to shortage of medical supplies: Nangombe

Procurement of medical equipment and medicine is a result of the lack of coordination within the Ministry of Health and Social Services (MoHSS) that causes reports of no stock confessed Executive Director Ben Nangombe.

Addressing MoHSS staff members here on Thursday, Nangombe said the distribution from the medical stores in all regions is the main obstacle for the supposed lack of health passports in clinics, tablet dispensing bags and medicine.

Before they [hospital and clinic personnel] have confirmed with the central medical stores (CMS) or regional stores they say they have a shortage of this and out of stock of that but in fact when you phone central medical stores you will find out it is there, Nangombe explained.

Previous media reports stated that MoHSS ran out of health passports and tablet dispensing bags however Nangombe said that were over two million bags and a plethora of passports.

The lack of coordination causes a panic in the country which causes patients from seeking assistance at the hospitals noted Nangombe.

As interventions for the procurement dilemma, MoHSS has approached treasury for an exemption to purchase pharmaceuticals which was approved Nangombe confirmed and said the Ministry is also working on a turnaround strategy to change the operations of CMS that is more strict, improved forecasting as well as management of logistics.

Speaking on the procurement area, Nangombe pointed out that it is prone to insider dealings, dishonesty and corruption but he plans to see that procedures and oversight will be strengthened but not tedious as well as increase transparency by publishing bids on MoHSS website including the adjudications.

I am confident that before this year is out, the availability of pharmaceuticals in Namibia is going to change drastically, Nangombe promised.

Nangombe further alluded that the procurement process is lengthy which causes the lack of items in the stores.

The Ministry of Home Affairs and Immigration earlier this year had a similar predicament that the new procurement law had to be satisfied which is lengthy and caused the ministry to run out of passport booklets.

The ED said as a solution to the lack of equipment, MoHSS is considering to lease magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) machines which they have to send patients to private health facilities to get instead of procuring their because it is more cost effective.

Source: Namibia Press Agency