The Ministry of Public Health (MOPH) has begun a forensic audit into its drug procurement system with help from Pan American Health Organisation /World Health Oorganisation ((PAHO/WHO).
The forensic audit comes on the heels of public complaints into the procurement process, the quality of drugs, and allegations of shortage of drugs, medical supplies and pharmaceuticals in the government-run sector, a statement issued earlier today from the MOPH noted.
Professor Jaime Espin Balbino of the Andalusian School of Public Health, Regional Ministry of Health is spearheading the forensic exercise which will target the operations of the MOPH and the Georgetown Public Hospital Corporation (GPHC) Health Minister, Volda Lawrence (MP) said Tuesday during a meeting with officials of those entities.
“I found that it (the procurement process) was a bigger issue than I thought” Lawrence admitted during Tuesday’s early-morning meeting.
“I didn’t think it was as bad as I found it (but) this is the beginning of the process” of regularising operations in the wider health sector, Lawrence said.
The audit into how things are currently done and the specific changes that will be implemented will provide the roadmap for the future to remove the existing “vast deficiencies in knowledge and manpower” which currently hamstring the MOPH and the GPHC Lawrence said explaining the rationale for the forensic audit.
PAHO/WHO is funding the cost of conducting the audit.
While the government health sector has internal and external audits done, Lawrence feels that “a fresh eye” is needed to give the system a boost and help plug all “existing gaps”.
She iterated that the audit is not intended to harass those with responsibility in the sector’s procurement process “but to correct the system”.
While the political will to transform and modernise the MOPH and GPHC is evident, Balbino noted that this must be complemented by the appropriate financial backing and competent human resources.
“You are doing well (but) you can improve” Balbino told the MOPH and GPHC teams.
Managers of the Guyanese public health sector must continue thinking long-term but remember that “more data, better advice” Balbino said.