Drug short­ages blamed on new in­ter-based sys­tem

The Mercury - - NATION - News | Health-e THABO MOLELEKWA thabo.molelekwa@inl.co.za siviwe.feketha@inl.co.za

AF­TER re­ports of short­ages of es­sen­tial medicines in clin­ics in Lim­popo, Health MEC Phophi Ra­math­uba has blamed the new sys­tem be­ing im­ple­mented by the Na­tional Trea­sury and na­tional Depart­ment of Health to im­prove ef­fi­ciency as the cause of the short­ages.

The new sys­tem, in­tro­duced in July, is in­ter­net-based and makes the process of cap­tur­ing medicines slow, re­sult­ing in drugs not reach­ing the clin­ics.

Dur­ing a re­cent visit to the pro­vin­cial phar­ma­ceu­ti­cal de­pot, Ra­math­uba crit­i­cised the new sys­tem.

“The is­sues of bud­gets have been re­solved; we have stocks but the new sys­tem makes it a se­ri­ous chal­lenge to get the medicine from here (the de­pot) to the clin­ics.

“This is a dis­as­ter and all our phar­ma­cists will camp here this week to make sure that our clin­ics re­ceive their medicines,” said Ra­math­uba.

Clin­ics in Vhembe have ex­pe­ri­enced short­ages for months, re­sult­ing in pa­tients be­ing sent home with­out treat­ment.

Ra­math­uba lamented that the sys­tem is sim­ply not work­ing and they will have to en­gage the na­tional depart­ment be­cause they can­not


gam­ble with the lives of pa­tients by us­ing a sys­tem that doesn’t work.

“We can­not be used as guinea pigs to test a sys­tem that has not been proven to work. We can­not be ex­per­i­ment­ing while peo­ple suf­fer with­out medicines.

“El­derly peo­ple are wait­ing in their clin­ics and we can­not de­lay them.”

Thabiso Teffo, the MEC’s spokesper­son, said that since July there has been an in­crease in re­ports of clin­ics ex­pe­ri­enc­ing short­ages of medicines in the prov­ince. ONE in five South African chil­dren un­der 5 suf­fer from stunt­ing, ac­cord­ing to the re­cent SA De­mo­graphic and Health Sur­vey.

It found that stunted chil­dren suf­fer de­layed growth and their brains don’t de­velop as they should.

So the Grow Great Cam­paign was of­fi­cially launched this month to fight stunt­ing. This multi-fun­der drive aims to con­front the hid­den chal­lenge of chronic un­der-nu­tri­tion and will mo­bilise the na­tion to achieve zero-stunt­ing by 2030.

Given her com­mit­ment to ma­ter­nal and child health and her ad­vo­cacy for early child­hood devel­op­ment, the cam­paign’s First Lady, Dr Tshepo Mot­sepe, in her key­note ad­dress at SOUTH African bil­lion­aire busi­ness­man Pa­trice Mot­sepe has come to the de­fence of African gov­ern­ments, say­ing they were not be­ing given enough credit for cre­at­ing an en­vi­ron­ment con­ducive for for­eign in­vest­ment on the con­ti­nent.

Mot­sepe was speak­ing at the Africa In­vest­ment Sum­mit in Sand­ton, Jo­han­nes­burg, yes­ter­day, which drew heads of gov­ern­ments from across the con­ti­nent and cap­tains of in­dus­try from across the globe.

The sum­mit, which ends to­day, sought to best po­si­tion the con­ti­nent as a key des­ti­na­tion for in­vest­ment, es­pe­cially in the fourth in­dus­trial rev­o­lu­tion.







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