Ministry of Finance has heaped the blame for the shortage of drugs on all other departments but itself, alleging that the Ministry of Health has not used about K500 million of its funding from the 2014/15 financial year to date.
In a statement clarifying on the drug situation, Secretary to the Treasury Ronald Mangani has said Treasury released funding amounting to K434 million in June 2015 after support from the governments of Norway and the Flanders amounting to K4.4 billion had come to an end.
This is contrary to reports that district health offices (DHOs) did not receive funding for June 2015 which resulted in reduced service delivery in district and central hospitals.
This June funding, according to Mangani, coupled with K15 billion funding from the government to district and central hospitals could not result in the shortages being experienced currently.
Mangani said despite very high levels of hospital funding provided in line with the appropriated resources, some hospitals still experienced periodic shortages.
He said: “We are reliably informed that most challenges that may have occurred in obtaining the commodities are on account of delays by the hospitals in requisitioning from the Central Medical Stores Trust [CMST] rather due to unavailability of funding.”
Mangani also blamed slow processes at CMST to enable Ministry of Health and National and Local Government Finance Committee (NLGFC) make payments.
“For instance, due to such administrative challenges, some K500 million of the funded resources in the 2014/15 financial year have not been used by the Ministry of Health,” he said.
Mangani added that Ministry of Health and NLGFC were collaborating with Treasury to review the payment process.
World Bank has since faulted the health sector supply chain which it says has too many parallel systems.
CMST is currently managing all drugs procured by donors and the government to supply to hospitals in the country.
Minister of Health Jean Kalirani has also blamed supply chain management challenges for the drug shortages and has since summoned all DHOs to a two-day meeting for discussions. n