Parliament pushes for one-stop drug centers

A call has gone out to Ministry Health to establish a one-stop drug center for easy access to drugs across the country’s hospitals.

According to the Public Accounts Committee of Parliament, the Central Medical Stores Trust (CMST) is failing to meet the demand of drugs on time when hospitals are in need.

In an interview, the Committee’s Chairperson Shadric Namalomba said the challenge can only be dealt with by establishing a one-stop center where hospitals across the country can have easy and timely access to the drugs.

“But what is happening is that when they actually press the orders from CMST, the Trust does not come out in good time to tell them [hospitals] that don’t have this particular drug.

“What is supposed to happen, according to Trust’s policy is that way are now set to CMST does not have drugs in stock, the Trust is supposed to give the hospitals a waiver,” Namalomba said.

Responding to the proposal, the Health Ministry through its Principal Secretary responsible for administration Beston Chisamile said the Ministry supports the suggestion.

“We indeed support his idea to have one stop shop, but as you might be aware, what we have reported is that in the previous years, CMST didn’t have adequate resources to buy the necessary drugs.

“I am pleased to report here last year, CMST was provided with a K17.5 billion and from another amount of money continuing to procure drugs,” Chisamile said.

The Ministry has since assured that the country has basic drugs, ranging from 50% to 60% in stock.

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