Papua New Guinea HEALTH and HIV/AIDS Minister Dr Lino Tom has blamed the current procurement system, rather than the Health Department, for the drug supply problems.
“No, it’s not the Health Department’s fault,” he said.
“I have seen snapshots of newspaper cuttings sent to me all the time and it seems (that) the National Procurement Commission (NPC) and the drug companies (are blaming) the Health Department.
“We have NPC that is not doing its work properly.
“It’s giving contracts to people who don’t have the capacity.”
Dr Tom said the current procurement system had “a lot of bottlenecks”.
“We will try to establish our whole procurement system within the health department because time is of the essence,” he said. “We can’t wait for people to go around and give a contract that needs to go out.
“We can’t allow them to keep that contract on the table for more than six months. We have already been given green light by the Prime Minister (James Marape), and the threshold for procurement in the department has been increased.
“We will definitely bring in development partners on board to provide transparency, because transparency is what we need.”
Dr Tom said addressing the drug issues was one of the priorities in his 100-day plan.
The awarding of contracts for the procurement and distribution of medical supplies to contractors who lack the capacity to deliver “is being looked at”.
Health Secretary Dr Osborne Liko said the companies contracted to distribute the 100 per cent medical supply kits failed to do so.
“The two companies don’t have the capacity for storage, and the guarantee of their money to deliver were not part of the recommendations to the NPC,” he said.
“We wrote to the State Solicitor to put them off, and (replace them with) two companies that have the capacity.”
The National / PNG Health Watch
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