The Central Medical Stores Trust (CMST) has redeployed 148 employees to other government offices since August last year and replaced them with new blood in an ongoing reform process aimed at addressing inefficiencies in drug procurement and distribution transactions in the country.
In an emailed response to a questionnaire on Wednesday, CMST public relations officer Helbert Chandilanga said the trust is yet to redeploy about 32 more employees whose positions he said will soon be re-advertised.
“It is a total of 148 employees [who have been redeployed] since the reforms started in August 2012. It has been a gradual process to avoid derailing the procurement, distribution and storage processes of medicines and medical supplies,” he said.
For many years, CMST—previously called Central Medical Stores before it was turned into a trust last year after sustained pressure from donors—has been rocked by various scandals on drug mis-procurement, leading to drug shortages and expiry of medical supplies due to over-procurement.
Chandilanga said the redeployment exercise has affected all CMST departments, including those responsible for finances, procurement and warehousing.
“This exercise will be completed within the next [2012/13] financial year. You may appreciate that employees under the new CMST set-up would need to be oriented as the employees from the previous set-up are deployed back to government offices.