The largest city in the south is the first locality in the country to pilot this model, hoping to solve difficulties and problems in the supply of medicines and medical supplies.
Associate Professor Tang Chi Thuong, director of the city’s health department, had a conversation with a reporter from Sai Gon Giai Phong newspaper about the center.
According to Associate Professor Tang Chi Thuong, once every two years, the city department selects units to alternately purchase drugs on the drug list that must be purchased according to regulations.
The Department of Health has mobilized the human resources of the sector to participate in the purchase in accordance with the provisions of the law and the regulations of the Ministry of Health without forming a new apparatus to carry out the centralized supply in rotation at the level of each unit . In addition, it must ensure an adequate and timely supply of drugs to hospitals.
However, the downside of this market is the lack of professionalism as the apparatus in charge of implementing the tender is not continuous and there is staff instability, Thuong said.
Furthermore, the hospitals whose personnel are assigned to the centralized call for tenders do not have the function of coordinating medicines after the call for tenders, but this is ensured by the Professional Division of Pharmacy under the Department of health. Hospitals are authorized only for the purchase of medicines, but not for the purchase of medical supplies and equipment.
He assumed that the formation of a centralized commercial center in the medical sector is necessary, in accordance with the practical requirements as well as to help solve the above limitations, while it can help to correct the weaknesses of tenders in each hospital such as difficulty in reaching the optimal price, inconsistent winning auction prices, reduction in time and resources spent on auction. It is a good solution for centralized tenders for medical supplies – equipment.
According to government leadership, the health sector should minimize hiring more staff when setting up a new center or non-commercial unit. Therefore, full-time centralized supply center staff are those with experience in procurement and management of drugs, supplies and medical equipment, including heads and deputy heads of pharmacy departments , and heads and deputy heads of hospital materials and equipment departments. The newly created center will have less than 30 employees.
Professor Nguyen Anh Tri, former director of the National Institute of Hematology and Blood Transfusion, said the establishment of the center was the right solution to the situation.
Currently, the supply of drugs and biological materials is severely disrupted because service providers are very reluctant to get supplies, and expertise consulting firms are temporarily suspended. Patients are the ones who suffer the most from the disruption of drug supply. Health workers are heartbroken and want to do something, but without an adequate and appropriate legal framework, they cannot do it.
Establishing the Ho Chi Minh City Medical Center Mall to solve the current problems and bottlenecks is seen as the right solution for the city itself. HCMC has a large population and a large number of hospitals, so it is necessary to have good policies and decisions to solve bidding and procurement issues.