A review of the Supply Chain Management System of Ghana Health Service (GHS), has revealed weaknesses ranging from various acts of ‘mis- procurement’, weak inventory management and high variations in the pricing of health commodities.
Other weaknesses, according to the Director General of the Ghana Health Service, Dr Ebenezer Appiah Denkyira, include capacity issues as well as multiple and duplicated procurement arrangement, which have resulted in high cost of commodities.
The disclosure was made in a speech read on his behalf at the opening of the 8th Annual General Meeting and Continuous Professional Development Programme of the Health Services Supply Chain Practitioners Association, Ghana (HESSCPAG).
The three-day event being held in Cape Coast on the theme: “Improving the performance of the supply Chain Professional in the Health Care Delivery,” is being attended by members of the association made up of procurement managers, supplier managers and storekeepers drawn from all over the country.
To address matters related to commodity availability with varying pricing across the regions Dr Appiah Denkyira said, Frame Work Contracting arrangements are being worked.
He said an initial stakeholder consultations have been done while working groups have been put in place.
He said the service would lead a tendering process with the view of selecting competent service providers who would be kept on a panel of prequalified service providers.
The selection procedures would involve representatives of the various regions, the Food and Drugs Authority and other relevant stakeholders.
Dr Appiah Denkyira indicated that Regional Medical stores and institutions would be directed to source their requirements of medicines and non-medicines and non-medicines consumables from the selected service providers.
He said they could only source from the open market when there is ample evidence that the prequalified suppliers cannot supply the commodities.
He said this is to ensure product reliability in the wake of substandard health commodities and ever increasing prices.
Dr Appiah Denkyira commended members of the association for working harder with other stakeholders to ensure high availability of commodities and uninterrupted service delivery despite challenges resulting from the fire incident at the Central Medical Stores.
The President of HESSCPAG, Mr Franklin Yamoah Otchere expressed concern over what he said is the constant harassment of its members who were staff of the Central Medical Stores before it was gutted by fire this year.
According him, though the report of the committee of inquiry on the incident has not indicted any former staff, investigative bodies such as the Bureau of National Investigation (BNI) constantly invite the personnel for questioning.
“Once the committee’s report and recommendations are being implemented, our colleagues should be set free and allowed to work on their own, devoid of any acrimony. The earlier stakeholders and interested parties look into it, the better it will be for all of us,” he stated.
He emphasised the pivotal role the unit play in health care delivery and called on stakeholders and industry players to look at the supply chain profession as a tool as well as a catalyst for nation building and to accord it the needed support especially with better conditions of service and recognition.
The Central Regional Minster, Mr Aquinas Tawiah Quansah, in a speech read on his behalf, expressed worry that the influx of adulterated medicine is taking over all health facilities and reducing quality of health care delivery to patients.
He noted that that for the country to achieve standard health services there must be improved supply chain mechanism in place and therefore called on all stakeholders to play their respective roles well.
He urged the GHS to ensure that all facilities in the region have the required equipment needed to improve upon health services
Source: Ghana News Agency