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Lengthy procurement process blamed for medicine shortages

The Public Procurement Act of 2015 is one of the six reasons why public health facilities experience a chronic shortage of medicine.

Health minister Dr Kalumbi Shangula said Thursday that the procurement act was limiting the health ministry and it made the tendering process long.

Dr Shangula also said the fact that the health ministry does not have long term contracts with suppliers has also contributed to the shortages in the public health facilities.

He suggested that to be able to meet the requirements, the health ministry needs to have at least two or three-year contracts.

“The supply chain management system for the distribution of pharmaceuticals and clinical supplies has been less than optimal,” the health minister said.

The situation has also been worsened by suppliers who inflate prices during buy-outs and emergency procurement activities.

“Many suppliers have let the nation down because of delayed deliveries and/ or failure to deliver on the orders awarded to them,” he said.

Wonder Guchu

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