Government warns Central Medical Stores Trust on procurement
Government has warned Central Medical Stores Trust (CMST) senior management and other stakeholders that no one will be protected if they are found at fault in the medicine procurement system.
Minister of Health and Population Atupele Muluzi told stakeholders during the opening of Central Medical Stores Trust (CMST) annual review meeting in Lilongwe on Thursday that there have been many allegations of a fraudulent decision making process.
Muluzi said as the country starts integrating the systems in the drug supply chain, the level of scrutiny that the stakeholder will be exposed to will increase significantly.
“You all have a stake in ensuring a free and fair system is in place that can drive highest value in the investment we receive. This is a significant responsibility, I understand that, but if you do not feel comfortable with this responsibility, or you find yourself faced by offers of inducement you must immediately report this either to your management at the Trust or to my Ministry.
“Should you fall foul, understand that there will be no excuses when you are discovered,” Muluzi said.
He said government is currently advocating for the integration of all the systems in the drug supply chain including the systems of the development partners.
“I hope that we will see World Vision integrate theirs over the next 60 days. This will not only avoid duplication of work and thereby cost, particularly of administration, but will also start to put to test how robust the reforms you have undertaken really are,” he said.
Muluzi, however, conceded that the CMST has a lot of challenges to respond to and there is unlikely to be a time when the country can sit back and stop evolving.
CMST Chief Executive Officer Feston Kaupa said the process of reforming the Trust’s activities, including; drug procurement, warehousing and distribution systems is progressing smoothly despite facing some challenges on the way.
Kaupa mentioned the K14.8 billion debt that hospitals owe the Trust, the debts that the Trust owes the suppliers and shortage of drug storage space as some of the challenges that the trust is facing.
“Although we have just opened a new warehouse, warehousing space is still inadequate and still falls short of the require 30,000 pallet spaces that we need to enable us accommodate several supplies but we are engaging stakeholders to find ways of constructing additional warehouses,” Kaupa said.
The CMST was registered on August 16 2011, after it was discovered that the previous organisation had developed several problems that led to the loss of donor confidence in the national medicine supply chain.
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