Certain medical shortages beyond department’s control

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REFILWE MEKOA

“There are certain medical shortages, for example hypertension medicines, that are out of stock at supplier level nationally. This, consequently, is beyond control of the Free State treasury and the department of health,” according to Elzabe Rockman, MEC of Free State treasury.
Rockman’s office issued a statement after the provincial executive council met with the CEOs of all hospitals last week to implement strategies that will assist the dire state of the health sector. She said they have implemented intervention measures to ensure quality health services.

Some of the strategies are:
-Availability and functionality of medical equipment, medicine and medical consumables at hospitals and clinics.
-Ensuring that critical shortages of medicines, medical consumables and employment are confirmed.
-The recruitment process for the appointment of 113 critical medical posts (including doctors, dentists, psychologists, medical officers, interns, pharmacists and dieticians) were approved on 18 June 2014. Funding for these posts have been confirmed.
-Lists of medicines and medical consumables are being consolidated in line with interim funding that has been re-prioritised within the provincial health budget. The supply of medicine and medical consumables to hospitals and clinics where shortages are experienced has already commenced and will continue to roll out in the short term.
-The review of supply chain management practices, accruals and long-term commitments, as well as strengthening internal control processes.
-Compensation of employees, including overtime, incapacity leave and absenteeism, the RWOPS system and training and development. Additional measures have been implemented with immediate effect to improve control over the performance of overtime in order to reduce unacceptably high levels of expenditure.
-Infrastructure delivery

Rockman added that the current challenges experienced in the health sector are being addressed systematically with the required urgency to normalise and stabilise the provision of quality health services.