The Health Services Supply Chain Practitioners Association, Ghana ( HESSCPAG) has described as “sad and unfortunate the constant harassment and intimidation” of its members who were staff of the Central Medical Stores before it was gutted by fire earlier this year.
According to the President of the Association, Mr. Franklin Yamoah Otchere, though the report of the committee of inquiry on the incident had not indicted any former staff, investigative bodies such as the Bureau of National Investigation (BNI) were constantly inviting them for questioning.
“Once the committee’s report and recommendations are being implemented, our colleagues should be set free and allowed to work on their own, devoid of any acrimony. The earlier stakeholders and interested parties look into it, the better it will be for all of us”, he stated
Mr. Otchere made this known in an interview with the Ghana News Agency on the sidelines of the opening of the Association’s 8th Annual General Meeting and Continuous Professional Development Programme in Cape Coast, on Thursday.
The three-day event on the theme “Improving the performance of the supply Chain Professional in the Health Care Delivery” is being attended by members of the association made up of procurement managers, supplier managers and storekeepers drawn from all over the country.
Speaking at the ceremony, Mr. Otchere indicated that, due to lack of recognition and unattractive conditions of service of supply chain professionals in the health service, a number of them were migrating, day in and out to other places where they would be recognised.
He enumerated other challenges and urged members of the association to demonstrate good knowledge of the job, reduce audit queries, be humble and show management that they were up to task all times, to attract the needed treatment they deserved.
He emphasised the pivotal role the unit played in health care delivery and called on stakeholders and industry players to look at the supply chain profession as a tool as well as a catalyst for nation building and to accord it the needed support.
The Director General of the Ghana Health Service, Dr. Ebenezer Appiah Denkyira in a speech read on her behalf disclosed that a review of the country’s Supply Chain Management System had revealed some weakness in the system.
The weakness he said, ranged from weak inventory management, various acts of mis-procurement, high variations in the pricing of health commodities, multiple and duplicated procurements arrangement which have resulted in high cost of commodities, and capacity issues.
He said to address matters related to commodity availability with varying pricing across the regions, Frame Work Contracting arrangements were being worked out, and that, initial stakeholder consultations have been done whiles working groups had been put in place.
In this arrangement, Dr. Denkyira said the headquarters of GHS would lead a tendering process with the view of selecting competent service providers, who would be kept on a panel of prequalified service providers.
He indicated that Regional Medical stores and institutions would be directed to source their requirements of medicines and non-medicines consumables from the selected service providers.
They could only source from the open market when there is ample evidence that the prequalified suppliers cannot supply the commodities.
Dr. Denkyira commended members of the association for collaborating with other stakeholders to ensure high availability of commodities and uninterrupted service delivery despite challenges resulting from the fire incident at the Central Medical Stores.
The Central Regional Minister, Mr. Aquinas Tawiah Quansah, in a speech read on his behalf, expressed worry that the influx of adulterated medicine was taking over all health facilities and was reducing quality of health care delivery to patients.
He urged the GHS to ensure all facilities in the region have the required equipment needed to improve health service and urged members of the association to ensure that procurement process and regulations were duly adhered to at all times.