Centralised bidding should be implemented to solve drugs and medical supplies shortage

August 18, 2022 - 09:10
A sudden increase in the number of patients has caused overloading and a shortage of equipment, medical supplies and chemicals at some central hospitals


A patient is being treated at a hospital. VNA/VNS Photo

HÀ NỘI — A sudden increase in the number of patients has caused overloading and a shortage of equipment, medical supplies and chemicals at some central hospitals.

Associate Professor, Doctor Đào Xuân Cơ, director of Bạch Mai Hospital, said one of the reasons for this is the COVID-19 pandemic, affecting the drug supply of enterprises. 

Many businesses do not have drugs and medical supplies to participate in the bidding or witness poor revenue due to low prices, he reported to the Ministry of Health's inspection team on Tuesday.

In 2022, there were 77 out of 1,690 drugs that contractors failed to supply in sufficient quantities under the orders, affecting the hospital's stock of drugs while waiting for the bidding results, Dr Cơ said.

The hospital also recommended the Government and the Ministry of Health issue policies and accelerate the implementation of national and local centralised bidding. 

Centralised bidding will increase competitiveness with lower prices, reduce manpower, time and costs of organising the bidding at hospitals as well as better handle problems in the bidding process.

On Tuesday, the inspection team of the Ministry of Health, led by Associate Professor, Dr. Lương Ngọc Khuê, visited the hospital to find solutions and remove difficulties for the hospital.

"All efforts and solutions are aimed at the satisfaction of patients and medical staff," said the director of the Department of Medical Examination and Treatment.

"The lack of medical supplies has affected treatment, service quality, patient and medical staff satisfaction," Associate Professor, Doctor Phạm Tuấn Cảnh, director of the Central Otolaryngology Hospital, told the inspection team. 

The hospital has to transfer patients to other hospitals due to a lack of medical supplies and equipment such as CT and MRI scanners, he said.

The hospital currently has to apply old methods and techniques to treat patients. 

He also proposed the Government and the Ministry of Health accelerate national centralised bidding for all lists of drugs, equipment and medical supplies and soon issue documents on bidding so that hospitals have a basis to implement the process.

After examining and listening to reports from two hospitals, Dr Khuê said the problem is bidding activities at hospitals. There are regulations that must be revised and adjusted.

The purchase and supply of medical equipment have been greatly affected after the COVID-19 pandemic due to the oil crisis and supply chain disruption, while the bidding regulations and bidding process are still inadequate.

He said many medical staff and suppliers were afraid that they may commit wrongdoings after a series of cases in the health sector. 

Although facing difficulties due to a lack of equipment and medical supplies, doctors have made every effort to ensure medical examination and treatment quality, and explain the difficulties to patients, he added. 

The two hospitals were suggested to report their issues to the Ministry of Health. — VNS