Quảng Ninh faces medicine, medical equipment shortages

November, 30/2022 - 17:04
According to the province's Department of Health, a lack of legal bases to make procurement estimate and the bid package price is among the main causes of the shortage of medicines, medical equipment, and bio-products in healthcare facilities in the province.
A nurse takes care of a patient at the Quảng Ninh Provincial Hospital of Geriatrics and Rehabilitation. Photo bvlkphcn.vn

QUẢNG NINH - Facing a shortage of medicines, medical equipment, and bio-products, the northeastern province of Quảng Ninh has asked for more specific guidelines for the bidding and procurement of the products.

According to the province's Department of Health, a lack of legal bases to make procurement estimate and the bid package price is among the main causes of the shortage of medicines, medical equipment, and bio-products in healthcare facilities in the province.

Nguyễn Minh Tuấn, Deputy Director of the province's Health Department, said that due to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, the global supply chain was disrupted, leading to a shortage of raw materials for production in Việt Nam.

Moreover, this was the first year medical facilities in the province organised their bidding for drug procurement, so they still need clarification about planning and implementation.

He said that the centralised national bidding had just covered more than 80 items while healthcare facilities needed thousands of drugs and medical supplies.

Phạm Quang Dũng, Director of the Quảng Ninh Provincial Hospital of Geriatrics and Rehabilitation, said that the hospital started operation in October 2022, replacing the old one. It received over 750 patients for examination and treatment.

According to the Provincial People's Committee's decision, the hospital was previously offered 186 lists of medicines and 2,286 medical devices, but due to a supply chain breakdown, it only had 19 lists and 23 devices.

Dũng said that the hospital still used the old equipment, took beds from Móng Cái City Medical Centre and a dental implant system from Uông Bí City Medical Centre for medical examination and treatment at the hospital.

Nguyễn Thị Yến, a resident in the province's Hạ Long City, said that her child caught influenza B and was prescribed to take Tamiflu. However, she said she was struggling to find the Tamiflu to buy.

To solve the shortage of medicines and medical equipment, Quảng Ninh health authority has urged the Ministry of Health and the Ministry of Planning and Investment to issue specific guidelines for bidding and procuring medical equipment.

The content of "Bidding winning information" of medical equipment must be fully updated, particularly information such as technical configuration, manufacturer, and origin, on the websites of the ministries and Vietnam Social Security so that localities could base on it to make bidding plans appropriately.

In addition, ministries are urged to guide the formulation of planned prices for new medical equipment used on the market for the first time.

For medical supplies and chemicals that are not classified as medical equipment, if the unit needs to consult more than three quotations, the price appraisal unit refuses to appraise due to a lack of grounds and no transactions of similar goods within 30 days.

The ministries and relevant agencies should promulgate equipment, supplies, and chemicals ceiling prices so that medical facilities have a basis for reference and formulation of bid package prices.

The health department also proposed some contents related to the guidance on setting unit prices and the implementation of regulations on bidding and procurement under the direction of the Prime Minister in Resolution No. 114/NQ-CP dated November 5, 2022, to promptly respond to current inadequacies, remove difficulties in bidding and procurement of medicines, medical equipment, and bio-products. VNS

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