HCM City plans to establish drug procurement centre

June, 17/2022 - 07:54
Secretary of the HCM City Party Committee Nguyễn Văn Nên has urged the Health Department to establish a centralised drug and medical supplies procurement centre.
HCM City plans to establish a centralised drug and medical supplies procurement centre to ensure sufficient supply of pharmaceutical products for hospital and medical stations. VNA/VNS Photo by Đức Hạnh

HCM CITY — Secretary of the HCM City Party Committee Nguyễn Văn Nên has urged the Health Department to establish a centralised drug and medical supplies procurement centre.

The centre will have the task of organising bidding for pharmaceutical product procurement.

The move aims to mitigate shortcomings in the pharmaceutical product bidding process, and ensure sufficient drugs and medical supplies at local hospitals and medical stations.

Secretary Nên asked agencies to research the operating mechanisms of the centre, and report problems of the established process which are beyond their authority to the municipal People’s Committee.

Lê Thiện Quỳnh Như, deputy chief of the Office of the Health Department, said at a meeting on Thursday afternoon that, “The department is collecting opinions from relevant agencies and People’s Committees of 21 districts and Thủ Đức City to complete the project of establishing the centre before submitting it to the municipal People’s Committee.”

Như said, “The centre at first will focus on procurement of drug and medical supplies, and later medical equipment.”

The department would recruit medical officials who have experience in drug procurement to work at the centre, as well as ask for support from Departments of Justice and Planning and Investment to avoid mistakes in the bidding process, she added.

According to the department, a centralised procurement centre was previously established in January, 2014. From 2014 until 2016, the centre organised six bidding packages for medicines, nine packages for medical supplies and 12 packages for equipment. 

On October 4, 2017, the city decided to dissolve the centre due to the lack of human resources to run it. 

Since then, all medical units in HCM City have had to carry out the procurement of medical equipment, supplies and drugs on their own.

However, the units do not have experts in the bidding system, causing confusion and violations in the procurement that makes them hesitate to organise the bidding.

The department worked with 77 hospitals and medical stations on drug procurement bidding to prevent drug shortages.

Như said there were shortages of some kinds of medicines in some medical units two months ago, but now the medicines were fully supplied.

She added most medical units in the city completed the drug bidding processes. Only a few were allowed to purchase essential medicines and medical supplies while waiting for the bid results.

Như said the department regularly reviewed and asked local hospitals to ensure sufficient supplies of drugs and medical supplies to give treatment to patients. VNS 

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