IN the government’s budget outlook for 2018, a lot of health support comes from External support.
The Solomon Islands 2018 budget is supported by donors, ie; Australian budget support of $76.6 million for health services, EU $24.0 million to MHMS, Global fund $10 million in support to operations in the MHMS, Joint United Nations $1.6 million to support operations in MHMS, UNICEF $3.2 million in support to operations in MHMS, WHO is providing $2.2 million, UNPF $2.6 million, Family Planning Australia, $0.1 million to MHMS, Fred Hollows (Australia) $0.2 million to support eye related programmes, Healthy lifestyle promotion fund $3.5 million to MHMS, KOICA $1.5 million to GP Health service, Republic of China $6 million.
With so much support geared towards Ministry of Health and Medical Services (MHMS) it is just incredulous that we are facing a shortage of medicines and supplies because of the procurement process.
While there is so much money and budget support from external donors, we continue to face problems in the health sector.
What is wrong?
The delay in procurement shouldn’t be an excuse.
Procurement is standard procedure. Solomon Islands as a country has a standard Essential Medicines List (EML) and currently there are less than 500 EML that Solomon Islands orders annually.
With standard procedure such as purchase of pharmaceutical drugs, then there shouldn’t be a problem.
The MHMS has a National Procurement Plan and Annual Tender Guideline.
This document sets out the framework by which procurement is undertaken by the National Pharmacy and Services Division and also establishes step by step plan on how to undertake an annual tender from budgeting and planning through quantification and bid evaluation etc.
Who is not doing his or her job?
The procurement processes for government in buying goods and services is clearly stated for everyone to see.
Procurements of more than $100,000 and up to $500,000 are required to be approved by a Ministerial Tender Board.
Procurements in excess of $500,000 must be approved by the Central Tender Board.
The issue of procurement should have been clarified and/or persons NOT doing their job should be removed or disciplined.
Such incongruities should not be tolerated.
People’s lives are at risk.