Published on: 06 March 2024 Category: Media Release

The North West Health MEC Madoda Sambatha has commended progress made by the intervention team he appointed last year on 10 November 2023 to investigate medicine availability in the province. The intervention team started its work in earnest immediately and begun to intensify at the beginning of this year. The intervention team that boasts expertise from various disciplines in the department is co-led by the Deputy Director General (DDG) for Hospital and Clinical Support Services as well as DDG for District Health Services.

To date the work of this team has been to assess and intervene in among others the pharmaceutical supply chain issues, systems effectiveness, distribution and delivery processes, storage capacity, human resources capacity and on safety issues. This assessment has been conducted across the province starting at the Mmabatho Medical Depot and moving into to the pharmacies in hospitals and clinics. This extensive work is beginning to yield positive results that will lead to effective distribution of pharmaceutical products and medicine in the province.

The intervention has immediately resulted with improved communication between the medical depot and pharmacy managers in health facilities. This is important for speedy resolution of any bottlenecks in the distribution and delivery of medicine between the depot and health facilities.

Payment of suppliers has remained a priority and the Finance Unit has assisted the team by making good progress on payments of supplier accounts. The unit continues to investigate and intervene when suppliers indicate account status to the pharmacies. This led to increased number of deliveries from suppliers to the depot and increased direct deliveries to pharmacies from contracted companies as well as deliveries of main orders, allocation of orders and emergency orders from the depot to the pharmacies.

In commending the work of the intervention team, MEC Sambatha said that he expects the team to stabilise the availability and distribution of medicine in the province as soon as possible then return the service to normal operation.

“I am pleased with the progress noting that item levels are gradually increasing. I have noted and support the recommendations of the latest report which include among others improving on turnaround time for distribution of stock from Mmabatho Medical Stores to pharmacies and to improve on turnaround time for redistribution of stock between the health facilities”, said MEC Sambatha.

The intervention team has also identified short to long term plans like establishing mini-depots in the districts and opening of bulk pharmacies closer to the facilities. Ventersdorp Bulk Pharmacy is expected to be handed over soon which will improve medicine storage and distribution capacity in the Dr Kenneth Kaunda District.

Meanwhile the intervention team is also undertaking benchmarking exercises which will help with identifying best practices and coming back to implement the best possible solutions for the province.

Enquiries: Tebogo Lekgethwane Departmental Spokesperson 0674227763

Khuthala Tshangela MLO MEC Support 0664586915



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